Complete Cast Announced for NYC Premiere of The Shaggs Musical; Annie Golden Among Players

By Kenneth Jones
March 14, 2011

Annie Golden, Steve Routman and Emily Walton will join the previously announced Peter Friedman and Kevin Cahoon for the new musical The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, an Off-Broadway co-production between Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop.



The show will play PH's Mainstage Theater starting May 12. Opening is June 7. Making their New York City stage debuts will be Jamey Hood, Cory Michael Smith and Sarah Sokolovic.

The Shaggs — with book by Joy Gregory; music by Gunnar Madsen; lyrics by Gregory and Madsen; and story by Gregory, Madsen and John Langs — is a fact-inspired story set in New Hampshire in the early '70s, when a working class dad (Friedman) has a vision of rock 'n' roll destiny for his three talentless daughters (Hood, Sokolovic and Walton). According to PH notes, "[He's] convinced they're his family's one-way ticket out of hardship and obscurity. But the girls have ideas of their own — and as their father's ambition turns to obsession, the price of familial obligation becomes all too clear."

Co-creator John Langs directs. The limited engagement will play through July 3.

The production will feature choreography by Ken Roht, scenic design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Geoff Korf and sound design by Darron L West. Orchestrations are by Gunnar Madsen and musical direction is by Aaron Gandy. Production stage manager is Lori Lundquist.

Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Peter Friedman appeared in Ragtime and PH's Circle Mirror Transformation, After the Revolution and The Heidi Chronicles. Kevin Cahoon's credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Roundabout's The Foreigner, for which he was Lortel Award-nominated). Annie Golden was featured in PH's Assassins and People Be Heard, and in Broadway's Xanadu and The Full Monty; she was Jeannie in the film "Hair." Steve Routman's resume includes Broadway's Broadway and Off-Broadway's The Fantasticks and Shmulnik's Waltz. Emily Walton was in PH's Saved and Broadway's August: Osage County.

Joy Gregory (book, lyrics and story) is a Los Angeles-based playwright, director and television writer and producer. She's a founding member of Chicago's Lookingglass Theater Company, where her two most recently produced works were The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World and Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession, a co-adaptation with David Schwimmer of the book by Studs Terkel (Jefferson nomination, Best Adaptation).

Gunnar Madsen (music, lyrics and story) is a composer, writer, actor, singer and director. He's written for the Minnesota Opera, Lincoln Center, Universal Pictures and NPR. He founded the internationally acclaimed acapella group The Bobs and for ten years was a driving creative force in their success. His family CDs, "Old Mr. Mackle Hackle," "Ants in My Pants!" and "I'm Growing" have won virtually every major award for children's music. He provided the singing voice for the portrayal of Sammy Davis, Jr. in the film "The Rat Pack," and his music is featured throughout the second season of HBO's "Sex and the City." He and his music are in the Vince Vaughan/Jennifer Aniston film "The Break Up."

Langs (direction and story) received a Backstage West Garland Award for his direction of The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, which moved on to a Joseph Jefferson-nominated production at the Lookingglass Theatre Company of Chicago.

The performance schedule for The Shaggs will be Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2:30 PM & 8 PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. Beginning Monday, April 4, single tickets, $75, may be purchased online via TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8 PM daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

There will be an added performance on Monday, June 6 at 8 PM.

For more information about the not-for-profit co-producers, visit www.playwrightshorizons.org or www.nytw.org.