Karen Ziemba, Ephie Aardema, Kyle Harris Will Star in A Room With a View Musical
By Kenneth Jones
Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba will star as Charlotte Bartlett, the overbearing chaperone of Lucy Honeychurch, in the new musical A Room With a View, based on the E.M. Forster novel, getting its world premiere by The Old Globe in San Diego. Maggie Smith played wincing Charlotte in the 1985 film version of the book.
This new musical take on the story of Brits basking in romance under the Tuscan sun, has a book by Marc Acito, music and lyrics by Jeffrey Stock and additional lyrics by Acito. Scott Schwartz (Séance on a Wet Afternoon) directs.
Performances will play March 2-April 8 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Opening night is March 10.
Ziemba previously appeared at the Globe in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, Six Degrees of Separation and The First Wives Club. She received the Tony Award along with the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for her portrayal of The Wife in Contact. She was also nominated for Tony Awards for the Broadway productions of Curtains, Never Gonna Dance and Steel Pier.
The Old Globe announced the cast and creative team on Jan. 30. Music direction is by Boko Suzuki.
According to The Old Globe, "Room With a View blends a gorgeous score with the timeless story that inspired the Academy Award-winning film. Amid the golden sunlight and violet-covered hills of Tuscany, sheltered English girl Lucy Honeychurch meets freethinking George Emerson and for the first time glimpses a world of longing and passion she had never imagined. Upon her return to her corseted Edwardian life, Lucy must decide whether to yield to convention or give up everything she has ever known. This enchanting new musical gives a new voice to these unforgettable characters."
The cast of A Room With a View also features Ephie Aardema (Off-Broadway's Dear Edwina) as Lucy Honeychurch, Kyle Harris (Tony on tour in West Side Story) as George Emerson and Will Reynolds (The Old Globe's recent Emma) as Cecil Vyse.
The company also includes Glenn Seven Allen (Italiano, Albert), Etai BenShlomo (Freddy Honeychurch), Gina Ferrall (Miss Lavish, Mrs. Honeychurch), Jacquelynne Fontaine (Ragazza, Minnie), Edward Staudenmayer (Mr. Beeber) and Kurt Zischke (Mr. Emerson).
The creative team includes Heidi Ettinger (scenic design), Judith Dolan (costume design), David Lander (lighting design), Jon Weston (sound design), Bruce Coughlin (orchestrator), Michael Jenkinson (musical staging), Jan Gist (dialect coach), Tara Rubin Casting (casting) and Anjee Nero (stage manager).
Acito (book and additional lyrics) wrote the popular comic novel "How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex," "Theft," "Friendship and Musical Theater," which won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and was Editors' Choice by The New York Times and a Top Teen Pick by the American Library Association. Translated into five languages, it also inspired a sequel, "Attack of the Theater People." Acito's comedy Birds of a Feather, which tells the true story of the nationwide controversy caused by gay penguins in the Central Park Zoo, received its world premiere at The Hub Theatre in July 2011. He also co-wrote the Christmas comedy Holidazed, which ran for two seasons at Artists Repertory Theatre, and Bastard Jones, a rock musical adaptation of Henry Fielding's "The History of Tom Jones." A former professional opera singer, Acito regularly performs "singing commentaries" on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." An alum of the musical theatre program at Carnegie Mellon University, Acito graduated from Colorado College, which in 2009 awarded him an honorary doctorate.
Stock (music and lyrics) composed the music for the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical Triumph of Love starring Betty Buckley, F. Murray Abraham and Susan Egan. Triumph has received over 100 productions at theatres around the country, as well as in Europe and Japan. His symphonic and choral work, Lulie the Iceberg, premiered at Carnegie Hall with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, narrated by Sam Waterston. Among the awards he has received are the Guggenheim Fellowship for music composition, an NEA grant and the Jonathan Larson Grant for the performing arts. Stock was one of the composers of the acclaimed Off-Broadway musical Songs From an Unmade Bed, presented at New York Theatre Workshop. He wrote the score and libretto for The Voice of Temperance, a musical about Prohibition commissioned by The Public Theater. He was resident composer at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, where he studied with the celebrated composer Toru Takemitsu.
Director Schwartz directed the Broadway productions of Golda's Balcony and Jane Eyre (co-directed with John Caird). He recently directed Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound in repertory, and Lost in Yonkers at The Old Globe. His Off-Broadway work includes Bat Boy: The Musical (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Outstanding Off Broadway Musical; Drama Desk Award nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), tick, tick… BOOM! (Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Off Broadway Musical; Drama Desk nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), Rooms: A Rock Romance, The Foreigner starring Matthew Broderick (Roundabout Theatre Company), Kafka's The Castle (Outer Critics Circle nomination, Outstanding Director of a Play), Miss Julie and No Way to Treat a Lady. He directed the world premiere of Séance on a Wet Afternoon at Opera Santa Barbara and subsequently at New York City Opera.
For ticket and information, visit www.TheOldGlobe.org or call (619) 23-GLOBE.
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