Goodspeed's The Most Happy Fella, With Bill Nolte, Mamie Parris, Ann Arvia, Natalie Hill and More, Begins Sept. 20
By Michael Gioia
Goodspeed Musicals presents Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella — part of the company's 50th anniversary season — beginning Sept. 20, prior to an official opening Oct. 9, at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT.
Directed by Rob Ruggiero (Looped, High) and choreographed by Parker Esse (associate choreographer for Finian's Rainbow), performances continue through Dec. 1.
The cast includes Bill Nolte (La Cage aux Folles, The Producers, Amour, Jane Eyre, 1776, Cats) as Tony, Mamie Parris (Ragtime, 110 in the Shade, The Drowsy Chaperone) as Rosabella, Ann Arvia (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables) as Marie, Doug Carpenter as Joey, Natalie Hill (Wonderland, Bye Bye Birdie, Grease) as Cleo, Kevin Vortmann (A Little Night Music) as Herman, Daniel Berryman as Ciccio, Martín Solá (Coram Boy, La Bohème, The King and I) as Pasquale and Greg Roderick (South Pacific) as Guiseppe.
Rounding out the ensemble are Noah Aberlin (Goodspeed's Annie Get Your Gun), Elizabeth Ann Berg (Goodspeed's Show Boat), Victoria Castle, Christine Cornell, Seth Danner, Michael Deleget (Goodspeed's Camelot) as the Doctor, Eloise Kropp (Goodspeed's Carousel), Danny Lindgren, John Payonk, Rachel Rhodes-Devey, Sarah Tranchina, Eric Ulloa and James Zannelli. Matthew Amira and Sabrina Marlene are swings.
Here's how the musical, featuring a book, music and lyrics by Loesser (How to Succeed…, Guys and Dolls), is billed: "Abbondanza! From the composer of Guys and Dolls comes a vibrant musical that blossoms in the vineyards of Napa Valley. Your heart will be warmed by this May-December romance when a city bride is wooed by an aging Italian grape farmer who nearly botches everything until his true goodness shines through. With a gorgeous score and spirited dancing, it's a simple and touching love story that makes for an extraordinary night of theatre."
Other members of the creative team include scenic designer Michael Schweikardt, costume designer Thomas Charles LeGalley, lighting designer John Lasiter, sound designer Jay Hilton, music director Michael O'Flaherty and assistant music director William J. Thomas. Orchestrations are provided by Dan DeLange.
The Most Happy Fella is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.
Goodspeed Opera House is located at 6 Main Street in East Haddam, CT. For more information and tickets, call (860) 873-8668 or visit Goodspeed.org.
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