In addition to former Jekyll and Hyde star Cuccioli, who plays mysterious stranger Norman Rhodes, the Jan. 18-Feb. 6 production by Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, VA, features Kevin Mambo ( Fela!), Jill Paice ( Woman in White, Curtains, 39 Steps), William Parry (of the original Sunday in the Park With George), Marcus Lovett ( King David, Aspects of Love), Jayne Paterson ( Les Miz, A Little Night Music), Brynn Williams ( 13, Bye Bye Birdie), Riley Costello ( Everyday Rapture, 13, Bye Bye Birdie), Garrett Long ( South Pacific, Off-Broadway's The Spitfire Grill), Rosa Curry ( The Rocky Horror Show, Steel Pier), Karl Warden, Eugene Barry-Hill ( The Lion King) and Ken Cavett.
Co-producer Mike Rafael told Playbill.com, "It's thrilling to be able to put this much talent in a rehearsal room. It's also really special to be able to premiere SCKBSTD at VSC in the region in which it's set — not to mention practically in Bruce's backyard."
The book for SCKBSTD is by Clay McLeod Chapman ( Hostage Song). Music is by Grammy Award winner Hornsby; lyrics are co-written by Hornsby and his friend and fellow Virginian Chip deMatteo. Hornsby is a native of Hampton Roads, the name given to the Norfolk area.
The musical is about "what happens to a family when a mysterious stranger arrives in a small town bringing fear and paranoia in his wake," Rafael said.
The musical's quirky title spelling is a variation on "sick bastard." The show's logo is a vanity license plate. SCKBSTD includes 19 original songs by three-time Grammy Award winner (and 13-time nominee) Hornsby, who has sold 11 million records. Songs from SCKBSTD were featured on Hornsby's 2009 CD "Levitate."
The creative team for the VSC production includes Rando (a Tony winner for directing Urinetown), Kim Grigsby (musical supervisor of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Spring Awakening), Jodie Moore (musical director), Jerome Robbins' Broadway Tony winner Scott Wise (choreographer), Robert Wierzel (lighting design), Narelle Sissons (set design), Darrel Maloney (projection design), Jennifer Caprio (costume design) and Jessica Paz (sound design).
As previously reported, the world premiere of SCKBSTD will be produced by Virginia Stage Company (Chris Hanna, artistic director; Keith Stava, managing director), in association with commercial producers David Riemer & Mike Rafael for Spiral Staircase LLC, at VSC's Wells Theatre. It's part of VSC's "American Soil" series.
Here's how the project's attached commercial producers are characterizing the show: "A stranger [Cuccioli] comes to a small town with a terrible secret. His presence has unintended consequences for a doctor [Lovett] and his wife [Paice]. Fear and paranoia grow when a child goes missing. In the end an unbearable loss brings a family and a town back together."
Hornsby, a Williamsburg, VA, native, had a hit with "The Way It Is," performed by Hornsby and the Range. The singer-musician-writer draws on rock, bluegrass, jazz and more for his sound.
For more information about Virginia Stage Company, visit vastage.com.