New Musical Last Smoker in America Lights Up Off-Broadway Starting July 11

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11 Jul 2012

John Bolton and Natalie Venetia Belcon in the 2010 CATCO production of <i>Last Smoker in America.</i>
John Bolton and Natalie Venetia Belcon in the 2010 CATCO production of Last Smoker in America.
Photo by David Alkire

The Last Smoker in America, which is billed as a "raucous, irreverent, and unfiltered new Off-Broadway musical," makes its New York premiere July 11 upstairs at the Westside Theatre with an official opening scheduled for Aug. 2.

The four-member cast comprises Drama Desk nominee Farah Alvin (The Marvelous Wonderettes) as Pam, Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q) as Phyllis, John Bolton (A Christmas Story, “Gossip Girl”) as Ernie and Jake Boyd (MCC’s Carrie) as Jimmy.

The musical features book and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Bill Russell (Side Show) and music by Drama Desk nominee Peter Melnick (Adrift in Macao). Tony Award-winning producer Andy Sandberg (Hair; Gore Vidal’s The Best Man) directs the production with choreography by AC Ciulla (Footloose).

"In a world where smoking has recently been outlawed and the penalties are growing stricter by the minute, Pam is having an impossible time trying to quit," according to Smoker press notes. "Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his guitar in the basement, while their videogame-addicted son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he thinks he's black. As if Pam isn't pushed to the edge of reason already, her nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis is on a mission to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for her right to light up?"

The musical received a developmental workshop production at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in fall 2009. In fall 2010, The Last Smoker in America received its world premiere at CATCO (Columbus, OH).

The creative team includes Fred Lassen (music supervision), Charles Corcoran (sets), Michael McDonald (costumes), Jeff Croiter and Grant Yeager (lights), Bart Fasbender (sound) and Jay Binder (casting). Roger Alan Gindi is the general manager, and Pamela Edington is the production stage manager.

The Last Smoker in America is produced in Manhattan by Andy Sandberg, Whitney Hoagland Edwards, Michael Palitz and Stephanie Rosenberg.

Show times are Monday at 8 PM, Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday at 2:30 PM and 8 PM, Thursday and Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 2:30 PM and 8 PM.

Tickets priced at $85 are available through Telecharge.com, or by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information visit lastsmoker.com. Westside Theatre is located at 407 West 43rd Street.