Champlin, Bahorek, Abramovitz and White Set for Krieger-Russell Musical Up in the Air

News   Champlin, Bahorek, Abramovitz and White Set for Krieger-Russell Musical Up in the Air
Casting has been announced for the world premiere of the new Henry Krieger-Bill Russell musical Up in the Air: The Story of Boonah, the Tree-Climbing Frog.
Donna Lynne Champlin
Donna Lynne Champlin

The family-friendly musical will make its world premiere during the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' upcoming JAPAN! culture + hyperculture Festival. Part of the Center's Performances for Young Audiences Series, Up in the Air will play the Family Theater Feb. 7-10. Amon Miyamoto, who directed and choreographed the 2004 revival of Pacific Overtures at Studio 54, will direct. It was also Miyamoto's idea to adapt Mizukami Tsutomu's well-known Japanese tale into a musical.

The cast of mostly Broadway veterans will feature Jill Abramovitz (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me), Stanley Bahorek (Spelling Bee), Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd), Jonathan Hammond (The Light in the Piazza, national tour), Deborah Lew (Beauty and the Beast), David McDonald (Mamma Mia! ), Lillias White (Tony winner for The Life) and Michael Leon Wooley ("Dreamgirls" film).

Up in the Air, according to the Kennedy Center website, is described as such: "Who's green, gutsy, and able to scale to the highest branch? Why, it's Boonah, the tree-climbing frog! One fateful day, Boonah is overlooking his pond when he discovers the leaves hide the home of a hungry hawk. While waiting for his chance to escape, he observes the creatures brought back to the nest. In the process, Boonah learns we are all part of a grand and wonderful design — we live, and die, so that the cycle of life may continue."

The creative team will also include Aaron Fischer (musical direction), Sam Davis (orchestrations), Darren Lee (choreography), Neil Patel (sets), Don Holder (lighting), Angela Wendt (costumes), Haruka Fujii (percussion), Alan Muraoka (assistant director) and Jason Daunter (stage manager).

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