The musical adaptation of the 1993 film Benny & Joon, last staged in 2019 at Paper Mill Playhouse, will receive two 75-minute first-look workshop performances at London's The Other Palace in advance of an expected U.K. premiere. Open to the public, the workshops will be given November 14 and 15 with tickets now on sale.
Andrew Samonsky and Hannah Elless will lead the company in the title roles. Both are reprising earlier performances in the work; Samonsky and Elless led a 2017 world premiere run at The Old Globe in San Diego, California, and Elless additionally starred in the musical's 2019 Paper Mill bow.
The musical centers on its title characters, a brother and sister duo, and the man whose love for Joon might forever change the dynamics of their relationship. The work features a book by Kirsten Guenther, music by Nolan Gasser, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein.
Transport Group Artistic Director Jack Cummings III remains at the helm for the U.K. workshops, along with music director J. Oconer Navarro and choreographer Scott Rink; all three have been with the show since the 2017 world premiere. Producer Larry Hirschhorn, who has been attached since the project's inception, also continues with the project.
Co-starring with Samonsky and Elless will be Christine Allado as Ruthie, George Blagden as Sam, Jak Malone as Waldo, Landi Oshinowo as Dr. Cruz, Simon-Anthony Rhoden as Mike, and Eric Stroud as Larry. Casting is by Will Burton of Grindrod Burton Casting, and Aria Entertainment is general manager.
Take a look at the 2019 Paper Mill Playhouse production starring Elless and Claybourne Elder: