The Mint Theater Company production of Becomes a Woman by Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) officially opens its world premiere February 27. The unpublished and unproduced 1930 play began previews at Off-Broadway's New York City Center Stage II February 7 for a run through March 18.
Starring are Broadway alums Duane Boutté (Carousel), Jeb Brown (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Gina Daniels (Network), Antoinette LaVecchia (Torch Song), Jack Mastrianni (A Christmas Story The Musical!), Pearl Rhein (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), and Phillip Taratula (The Skin of Our Teeth) alongside Off-Broadway's Jason O'Connell (Judgment Day) and Peterson Townsend (Chains).
Francie is a 19-year-old woman living with her family in Brooklyn. She works at a five and dime store as a singer at the sheet music counter with co-workers who only see a shy woman afraid of the world. So when Francie discovers her courage, she surprises everyone, but most of all herself.
Rounding out the cast are Scott Redmond (Oklahoma! national tour), Tim Webb (A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage national tour), along with three actors making their Off-Broadway debuts: Christopher Reed Brown, Emma Pfitzer Price, and Madeline Seidman.
The production, helmed by director Britt Berke, features set design by Vicki R. Davis, costume design by Emilee McVey-Lee, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger, sound design by M. Florian Staab, dialect coaching and dramaturgy by Amy Stoller, and casting by Stephanie Klapper.
Mint Theater's Producing Artistic Director Jonathan Bank said in an earlier statement, "I wasn't surprised to learn that Betty Smith wrote a play. I was surprised to learn that Betty Smith was a playwright first and foremost. She spent decades working in the theatre, with the Federal Theater Project and elsewhere. Becomes a Woman is not a novelty. It's a beautifully crafted, utterly surprising story filled with vibrant characters, lively dialogue, and deep feeling."