Patti LuPone, Sherie Rene Scott and Laura Benanti Are Women on the Verge Beginning Oct. 8
By Adam Hetrick
Pedro Almodóvar's Academy Award-nominated 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown makes its musical debut Oct. 8 at the Belasco Theatre. Tony Award nominee Sherie Rene Scott and Tony Award winners Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti and Brian Stokes Mitchell star in the world-premiere Broadway production.
Tony-nominated Dirty Rotten Scoundrels collaborators David Yazbek (music and lyrics) and Jeffrey Lane (book) authored the chaotic comedy set in Madrid in the 1980's. Women on the Verge will officially open Nov. 4.
Lincoln Center Theater presents the musical that is directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza). The production was to take its Broadway bow Oct. 2, but delayed previews in order to allow more technical rehearsals for the multi-location set designed by Tony winner Michael Yeargan.
Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate, Ragtime) is the musical's virile catalyst who sets off an emotional rollercoaster that causes the women in his life (and beyond) to toe the line between sanity and mental collapse. His fellow leading men include Tony nominee Danny Burstein (South Pacific) and Justin Guarini ("American Idol").
The Women on the Verge are played by Scott (Everyday Rapture, The Little Mermaid) as the abandoned girlfriend; LuPone (Gypsy, Evita) as the scorned ex-wife; Benanti (Gypsy, In the Next Room) as the high-strung best friend; as well as Tony nominee de'Adre Aziza (Passing Strange), Tony nominee Mary Beth Peil (Nine, Sunday in the Park With George) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Seussical).
The Women on the Verge ensemble includes Julio Agustin, Alma Cuervo, John Carroll, Murphy Guyer, Rachel Bay Jones, Nina Lafarga, Yanira Marin, Sean McCort, Vivian Nixon, Luis Salgado, Jennifer Maria Sanchez, John Schiappa, Samantha Shafer, Phillip Spaeth, Matthew Steffens and Charlie Sutton.
Women on the Verge has choreography by Christopher Gattelli, musical direction by Jim Abbott, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Brian MacDevitt, sound by Scott Lehrer, projections by Sven Ortel, aerial design by The Sky Box, special effects by Gregory Meeh, wigs and hair by Charles LaPointe, make-up by Dick Page, orchestrations by Simon Hale, and additional orchestrations by Jim Abbott & David Yazbek.
Here's how LCT bills Women on the Verge: "Both touching and hilarious, it's a story about women and the men who pursue them... finding them, losing them, needing them, and rejecting them. At the center is Pepa (Scott) whose friends and lovers are blazing a trail through 1980s Madrid. And why do they all keep showing up at her high-rise apartment? Is it her gazpacho? Along with Pepa, there's her missing (possibly philandering) lover, Ivan (Mitchell); his ex-wife of questionable sanity, Lucia (LuPone); Pepa's friend, Candela (Benanti), and her terrorist boyfriend; a power-suited lawyer (Aziza) plus a taxi driver (Burstein) who dispenses tissues, mints and advice in equal proportion. Mayhem and comic madness abound, balanced by the empathy and heart that are trademarks of Almodóvar's work. And of Bartlett Sher's too."
Sher received a 2008 Tony Award for his direction of the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific. He earned Tony nominations for each of his other Broadway directorial outings for Lincoln Center Theater, including Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Light in the Piazza and Awake and Sing!
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