Brett Ryback and Ben D. Goldberg Will Be Rodgers and Hart in World Premiere of Falling For Make Believe
By Michael Gioia
The Colony Theatre will present the world premiere of Falling For Make Believe, about the lives of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart and featuring music by the songwriting duo, beginning April 24, prior to an official opening April 27, in Burbank.
The final production in Colony's season of premieres, performances will continue through May 19 under the direction of Jim Fall. Choreography is by Lisa Hopkins, and musical direction is by Keith Harrison.
The cast includes Ben D. Goldberg (L.A.'s For the Record… series) as Lorenz Hart, Rebecca Johnson (Center Theatre Group's Pippin) as Vivian Ross, Jeffrey Landman (Les Misérables, Falsettos) as Doc Bender, Tyler Milliron (Master Class at International City Theatre) as Fletcher Mecklen, Megan Moran (Man of La Mancha at Connecticut Repertory Theatre) as Peggy/Dorothy Rodgers/Policewoman and Brett Ryback (world premiere of Upright Grand) as Richard Rodgers.
Here's how the work — featuring a book by Emmy Award winner Mark Saltzman — is billed: "Lorenz (Larry) Hart was one of Broadway's all-time greats, the brilliant lyricist who penned 'My Funny Valentine,' 'Blue Moon,' 'Manhattan,' 'Falling in Love With Love,' 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,' 'Where or When,' and countless other classics. As half of the legendary team of Rodgers and Hart, he lived a life of dizzying heights and crushing lows. Now Mark Saltzman (author of The Colony's smash hit Clutter: The True Story of the Collyer Brothers Who Never Threw Anything Out) captures them all in an intimate look at the life and times of this lyrical genius, a brand new musical developed by The Colony and featuring some of the most memorable songs of the 20th Century."
Other members of the creative team include scenic designer Jeff McLaughlin, costume designer Dianne K. Graebner, lighting designer Sohail e. Najafi and sound designer Drew Dalzell. Props design and set dressing are by MacAndMe.
Founded in 1975, the theatre announced last October that it needed to raise $49,000 in under two weeks to open its production, the West Coast premiere of Willy Holtzman's The Morini Strad, and that completing its season was also in doubt. The announcement resulted in an outpouring of support, and funds to open Morini materialized in ten days. Since then, the company has managed to continue on a show-by-show basis, securing the funds to produce the Los Angeles premiere of Peter Colley's I'll Be Back Before Midnight and Falling For Make Believe.
The Colony Theatre is located at 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center Mall. For more information and tickets, call (818) 558-7000 ext. 15 or visit ColonyTheatre.org.
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