Casting Announced for Sondheim's Pacific Overtures at the Donmar

News   Casting Announced for Sondheim's Pacific Overtures at the Donmar
Principal casting has been announced for the Donmar Warehouse's summer production of Pacific Overtures.

Heading the cast of the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical, which features additional material by Hugh Wheeler, will be Richard Henders, Togo Igawa, Cornell John, Teddy Kempner, Ian McLarnon and Jerome Pradon. Gary Griffin will direct the musical, which plays the Donmar June 20 through Aug. 23.

This production of the Sondheim musical debuted at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2001 to much acclaim. Griffin also directed this mounting, although much of the casting will be different at the Donmar. Three Chicago production actors are expected to reprise their work overseas. They are Richard Manera as The Thief, Kevin Gudahl as Kayama and Joseph Anthony Foronda as The Reciter. Foronda and Gudahl both won Joseph Jefferson Awards for acting in the Chicago Shakes staging.

According to the Donmar's official website, the creative team for Pacific Overtures, which fuses traditional Japanese Kabuki and Noh theatre with Western musical styles, comprises Daniel Ostling (scenic design) and Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), who reprise their Chicago work, and Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Nick Lidster for Autograph (sound design), James Stenborg (orchestrations), Thomas Murray (musical direction) and Mark Warman (production musical direction).

Pacific Overtures debuted at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre on January 11, 1976, and ran for 193 performances. Originally directed by Hal Prince, the work features a book by John Weidman and additional material by Hugh Wheeler. Pacific Overtures was voted Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics' Circle and also earned nine Tony nominations, winning two: Best Costume Design (Florence Klotz) and Best Scenic Design (Boris Aronson). Sondheim's score includes "The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the Sea," "There Is No Other Way," "Four Black Dragons," "Chrysanthemum Tea," "Poems," "Welcome to Kanagawa," "Someone in a Tree," "Lion Dance," "Please Hello," "A Bowler Hat," "Pretty Lady" and "Next."

The Donmar Warehouse is located at 41 Earlham Street in London. The telephone number for the theatre's box office is 011 44 20 7369 1732; go to for more information.

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