Blood Brothers, Starring Colleen Hawks and Simon Pearl, Extends Queens Run
By Adam Hetrick
The Astoria Performing Arts Center's critically embraced revival of the Olivier Award-winning and Tony-nominated British pop musical Blood Brothers has extended its run through May 25 in Queens. Broadway actress Colleen Hawks stars as Mrs. Johnstone.
Directed by APAC artistic director Tom Wojtunik, Blood Brothers began performances May 2 and was scheduled through May 18 at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church. It will now play an additional week of performances. Strong word of mouth and sold-out performances prompted the extension.
It has choreography by Christine O'Grady and musical direction by Julianne B. Merrill.
The musical has book, music and lyrics by Willy Russell (Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine). It ended its record-breaking, 24-year London run in November 2012.
In addition to Hawks (Shrek the Musical, The Boy from Oz) as Mrs. Johnstone, the cast of Blood Brothers features John Ashley Brown (Grease) as the Narrator, with Rowan Michael Meyer (Amadeus) and Simon Pearl (Les Miserables) as twins Mickey and Edward, respectively.
The principal cast also features Kayla Wickes (Hamlet) as Linda, Marisa Devetta (APAC's The Secret Garden) as Mrs. Lyons, Matthew LaBanca (Young Frankenstein, White Christmas) as Mr. Lyons and Jonathan Gregg (APAC's The Human Comedy, Ragtime) as Sammy.
The ensemble includes Joey Donnelly (Non-Equity the Musical), Britain Gebhardt (APAC's The Secret Garden), Mary-Elizabeth Milton (Footloose), Jan-Peter Pedross (APAC's The Secret Garden), Jason Pintar (Titanic) and Kristin Stewart (The Wizard of Oz).
Blood Brothers, which premiered in London in 1983 prior to a 1993 Broadway arrival, "tells the tragic story of a mother who, unable to support her children, surrenders one of her newborn twins to a childless woman. Unaware that they are brothers, the boys grow up just streets apart in vastly different homes — one wealthy, the other poor. Despite their different upbringings, they become close friends. But when they fall in love with the same girl, their friendship is tested, and their fate sealed," according to APAC.
The production has scenic design by Stephen K. Dobay, costume design by Caitlin Cisek, lighting design by Dan Jobbins, sound design by David M. Corsello and prop designs by Aaron Sheckler. Kenneth Garner is the dialect coach, with fight direction by Ryan Kasprzak.
For tickets, priced $18, phone (888) 596-1027, or visit APACNY.org.
The Good Shepherd United Methodist Church is located at 30-44 Crescent Street in Astoria, NY.
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