By Christine Ehren
10 Dec 1998
On Jan. 10, 1999 in Los Angeles, Titanic will set sail on its first national tour with a new company that features some familiar faces -- including the limited return of Broadway cast original Brian d'Arcy James to Fredrick Barrett, the role he created.
For the Los Angeles engagement only, d'Arcy James (Titanic, Floyd Collins) will reprise the role of stoker Fredrick Barrett. Throughout the rest of the tour, Marcus Chait, most recently seen in New York as Christian in the Frank Langella Cyrano De Bergerac at the Roundabout, will take over the part.
Titanic's "master, builder, and owner" will be played by William Parry (Captain Smith), Kevin Gray (Thomas Andrews) and Adam Heller (Bruce Ismay). Gray, most recently Broadway's King in The King And I, also performed the Engineer in Miss Saigon (including singing the role on the recording) and both Raoul and the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera. Parry's credits include the original Broadway companies of Sunday in the Park, Passion and Jesus Christ Superstar as well as Off-Broadway's Assassins.
Heller played Henri Labisse in Broadway's Victoria/Victoria, as well as roles in the Broadway/national companies of Falsettos and Les Miserables.
Several other Titanic tour cast members have already served on the Broadway ship, including Ken Triwush, Jennifer Waldman, Kate Suber (On the Town at the Delacorte) as Kate Murphey and in the role of Kate McGowan, Melissa Bell. An original Broadway company swing, Bell also performed on Broadway in Grease and Gentleman Prefer Blondes as well as touring with the pre-Broadway Jekyll & Hyde.
Among the first class passengers, S. Marc Jordan (Funny Girl, "Night Court") and Taina Elg (Tony nominated for Where's Charley, Nine) will play Mr. and Mrs. Strauss with Margo Skinner (Power Plays, Mrs. Warren's Profession) in the featured role of Charlotte Cardoza. In the second class, David Beditz and Liz McConahay are Edgar and Alice Beane. Christianne Tisdale (Belle in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast, Triumph of Love) will play the first class -- but traveling in second class -- Caroline Neville. Rounding out the third class are Bell as Kate McGowan, Suber as Kate Murphey, Jodi Jinks as Kate Mullins and Richard Roland (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Zombie Prom) as Jim Farrell.
Other featured roles include Dale Sandish (Grease!, Forever Plaid) as Harold Bride, Timothy J. Alex (the original Canadian companies of Ragtime, Sunset Boulevard and Crazy For You) as Frederick Fleet, David Pittu (Atlanta's Dangerous Corner directed by David Mamet, "The Spanish Prisoner") as First Officer William Murdoch and Raymond Sage (Beauty and the Beast, Camelot) as Third Officer Herbert J. Pitman/The Major.
Also in the cast are Kristi Barber, Dana Lynn Caruso, Edward Conery, Carol Denise, Rob Donohoe, Doug Friedman, Stacie James, Laura Kenyon, Ken Krugman, Bob Lauder Jr., Philip Lehl, John Leone, Rebecca Hunter Lowman, David Ludwig, Joann Merhaut, Dodie Pettit, Andrew Redeker, Sarah Shannon, Michael Shelle, Deborah Jean Templin, Bruce Thompson, Carl N. Wallnau and Matthew Yang-King.
The first national touring company of Titanic will launch in Los Angeles . The tour previews Jan. 5 and opens Jan. 10, 1999 at the Ahmanson Theatre, where it will run through Feb. 28, 1999.
The Titanic tour will then continue through the following announced cities:
March 3-21, 1999: Buell Theatre, Denver
March 24-April 18: Fifth Avenue Theatre, Seattle
April 22: Chicago
June 9: Boston
July 7: Washington, DC
August 24: St. Louis
September 7, 1999: Detroit
Produced by Dodger Endemol Theatricals, Richard S. Pechter and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Titanic has music and lyrics by Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel), a book by Peter Stone (1776, Woman of the Year) and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. Richard Jones directs with choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Sets and costumes are designed by Stewart Laing, lighting by Paul Gallo, and sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy. Production supervisor is Susan Green and Leigh Catlett is production stage manager.
Based on the famous 1912 sea disaster, Titanic won five Tony awards including Best Musical. Songs from the show include "Ladies Maid", "The Proposal/The Night Was Alive" and "Still." The Titanic recording is available from RCA Records.