The Pajama Game Tony Nominee To Ready Cry-Baby Musical in Reading

By Ernio Hernandez
and Andrew Gans
25 May 2006

Megan Lawrence, a Tony Award nominee for her turn in The Pajama Game, will be part of an upcoming reading for the new musical Cry-Baby.



Bookwriters Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, songwriters Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum, choreographer Rob Ashford and director Mark Brokaw are on board for the new musical comedy based on the popular movie.

Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre which has hosted the pre-Broadway debuts of Hairspray and The Wedding Singer nabbed the pre-Broadway world premiere of Cry-Baby, which runs Feb. 13-March 4, 2007 as part of the company's new season.

"We're doing a big reading of [Cry-Baby] the day after Pajama Game closes," Lawrence told Playbill.com's "Diva Talk" columnist Andrew Gans. "We're doing like a three-week thing with Cry Baby... I sort of have my hands in that and then will spend a couple months with the kids, which will be great."

A 5th Avenue Theatre representative confirmed the actress' involvement in the New York reading. Lawrence will play the role of Hatchet-Face opposite Joe Mandragona as Cry-Baby and Christopher J. Hanke as Baldwin.

Lawrence earned a Tony nod for her turn as Gladys in the current revival of The Pajama Game. She originated the role of Little Becky Two Shoes in Urinetown and later played Little Sally in that production. Other credits include the world premieres of Over and Over and The Rhythm Club. She won Washington, DC's Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods.

"I am thrilled to be coming back to Seattle with Cry-Baby. Here's a town that understands my sense of humor and has a passionate theatre-going public that roots for winners outside the usual Broadway boundaries," said John Waters, director of the "Hairspray" and "Cry-Baby" films. "In other words, the perfect place for me to be a 'juvenile delinquent.'"

Adam Epstein, Allan S. Gordon, Elan McAllister and Brian Grazer are the producing team. Casting for the full production will be announced in early fall.

Cry-Baby is described in production notes thusly: "Baltimore 1954. Everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism, and Wade 'Cry-Baby' Walker is the baddest boy on town. He's a rebel with a cause truth, justice and the pursuit of rock 'n' roll and when he falls for a good girl who doesn't want to stay that way, this square little suburb is sure to rock around the clock."

For season tickets to The 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle, WA, call (206) 625-1900 or visit the box office. For more information, visit www.5thavenuetheatre.org.