Goodspeed's Radio Girl, New Musical by Henry Krieger and Susan Birkenhead, Begins July 29

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29 Jul 2010

Lee Meriwether and Orson Bean
Lee Meriwether and Orson Bean

Lee Meriwether, Orson Bean, Meredith Patterson, John Bolton and Michele Ragusa are among cast members of the new musical Radio Girl, an adaptation of the novel "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," playing July 29-Aug. 22 at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre.

The cast includes Gabriella Malek as Rebecca. Malek appeared on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Radio Girl features music by Tony nominated composer Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls, Side Show and Tap Dance Kid) and Tony-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead (Working, Jelly's Last Jam and Triumph of Love). The book is by Daniel Goldfarb (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me).

The Terris in Chester, CT, is Goodspeed's home for developing new works; productions are not open to critics. Here's how Goodspeed characterizes the musical: "Rebecca is a spunky ten-year-old with a 'can do' attitude and enormous talent. She doesn't let anything get her down . . . not even being an orphan, or living during the Depression, and especially not her cantankerous Aunt Miranda! With charm, street smarts, pluck and a glorious voice, Rebecca triumphs as Lucky Little Radio Girl and lifts the spirits of America."

Radio Girl is directed and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who directed Goodspeed's world-premiere production of Jim Henson's Emmet Otter and created choreography for Broadway's 13 and the revivals of Sunday in the Park with George and South Pacific (Tony nomination).



Aunt Miranda is played by Lee Meriwether, the former Miss America who played Betty on TV's "Barnaby Jones" and Catwoman on TV's "Batman"; Tony nominee Orson Bean (Subways Are for Sleeping) plays Homer; Uncle Harry is played by Joey Sorge (Goodspeed's Happy Days, Broadway's The Drowsy Chaperone); Meredith Patterson (Broadway's Irving Berlin's White Christmas and 42nd Street plays Gwen; Anthony Holds (Broadway's Enron and Spamalot) plays Tony; John Bolton (Broadway's Curtains) is Orville; the role of Lola is played by Michele Ragusa (Goodspeed's Li'l Abner and Broadway's Young Frankenstein, Urinetown, Ragtime); Melva is played by Tony nominated actress Liz Larsen (Broadway's The Most Happy Fella, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray).

The company also includes Stephen Bienskie (Goodspeed's High Button Shoes), Andrew Boetcher, Ariel Reid, Pam Remler, Allie Schauer, David Spangenthal and Richard Riaz Yoder.

There are six Connecticut residents playing Lucky Little Radio Girl hopefuls: Meg Guzulescu (West Hartford), who portrayed Jane in last year's production of Jim Henson's Emmet Otter at the Goodspeed Opera House and performed on Broadway in Billy Elliot: The Musical, Morgan Martin (Glastonbury); Hayley Murphy (Madison); Betty Smith (Middlefield); Marissa Smoker (Branford) of Goodspeed's Annie Get Your Gun and Laura Spineti (Higganum).

The Norma Terris Theatre is located at 33 North Main Street in Chester, CT. Tickets are available now through the Goodspeed Opera House Box Office at (860) 873-8668 or visit www.goodspeed.org.

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Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and additional productions at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester.