In This House, a New Musical, Will Star Chuck Cooper, Brenda Pressley, Jeff Kready and Margo Seibert

By Kenneth Jones
February 23, 2012

Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, Jeff Kready, Brenda Pressley and Margo Seibert will star in the world premiere of the New Year's Eve-set chamber musical In This House by Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ.



In This House — by Grammy Award-winning Nashville songwriter Mike Reid (composer, co-bookwriter), Sarah Schlesinger (lyricist, co-bookwriter) and Jonathan Bernstein (co-bookwriter) — "tells the story of two couples — one at the beginning, the other at the end of their time together — who meet accidentally and spend an evening together in a deserted house on New Year's Eve."

May Adrales (the world premieres of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them at Actors Theater of Louisville and Mary at the Goodman Theatre) directs. The music director is Broadway's James Sampliner (Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer).

Performances will begin in Two River's Marion Huber Theater on March 4 prior to a March 17 opening. The run continues to April 8.

In This House was developed at Two River Theater over the past year through a workshop and writers' retreat. It is orchestrated for piano, cello, violin and reeds.

Cooper, recently of Broadway's Finian's Rainbow and Two River's Jitney, won his Tony for The Life. Pressley appeared in the original Broadway cast of Dreamgirls and in Nicky Silver's fall 2011 Off-Broadway play The Lyons. They play the older couple, Henry and Luisa.

Kready was in Broadway's Billy Elliot and Les Misérables. Seibert was in the world premiere of Orestes: A Tragic Romp by Two River, plus Mary Zimmerman' production of Candide. They are the younger couple, Johnny and Annie.

Mike Reid (composer, co-bookwriter) and Sarah Schlesinger (lyricist, co-bookwriter) wrote The Ballad of Little Jo, which was produced by Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago as its first musical and was subsequently produced at the Bridewell Theatre in London. They have written the score for Casanova Returns, a new musical based on the life of Casanova, which won the Global Search for New Musicals. The team's opera Different Fields was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Guild and has recently been on tour in Australia.

Reid is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter with more than 30 Top 10 pop and country hits recorded by many artists including Bonnie Raitt ("I Can't Make You Love Me"), Anita Baker, Bette Midler, Prince, George Michael, Nancy Wilson, Etta James, Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, Wynonna Judd, Alabama, Joe Cocker, Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson and Tim McGraw. He has been the recipient of ASCAP's "Songwriter of the Year" Award and received his Grammy for "Stranger in My House," recorded by Ronnie Milsap. In 2005, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Reid and Schlesinger have received the Kleban Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, a Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award, the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, and Chicago's Jeff Award for Best Original Musical. This is their fourth musical.

Schlesinger is the chair of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Co-bookwriter Bernstein's plays and musicals have been produced all over the country. He is the artistic director of The Performing Arts Project, a theater training intensive that works with students from all over the world.

The creative team includes scenic designer Lee Savage, costume designer Camille Assaf, lighting designer Gina Scherr and sound designer Nevin Steinberg. The orchestrations are by Danny Larsen, the casting is by Tara Rubin Casting, and the stage manager is Whitney McAnally.

The musicians for In This House, who will perform live and on stage, are Marisol Espada (cello), Henry Hernandez (reeds), Jens Kramer (violin) and James Sampliner (piano).

For more information, visit www.trtc.org.