Donna McKechnie Is Carefree Starting Tonight in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Tribute

News   Donna McKechnie Is Carefree Starting Tonight in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Tribute
Warren Carlyle directs and choreographs.
HR - Donna McKechnie.jpg
Donna McKechnie

Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, most recently represented on Broadway with his choreography for the acclaimed revival of She Loves Me, directs and choreographs a new musical celebration of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that begins performances November 4.

Entitled Carefree: Dancin' with Fred & Ginger, the song-and-dance spectacular is co-produced by New Jersey Performing Arts Center and RKO Stage. The production has its tryout at NJPAC's Victoria Theater November 4-5, followed by a November 6 performance at Princeton's McCarter Theatre Center.

The tour continues throughout the Northeast with stops in Wilkes-Barre, PA; New London, CT; and Poughkeepsie, NY. A national tour is planned for 2017.

The cast is led by Jared Grimes (2014 Fred & Adele Astaire Award for best male dancer in Broadway's After Midnight) and Hayley Podschun (Something Rotten!, Hairspray, Chaplin) with a special guest appearance by Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (Tony Award winner for A Chorus Line). The company also features David Elder (Curtains, 42nd Street, Titanic, Kiss Me, Kate), Drew King (On the Twentieth Century), and Tessa Grady (Dames at Sea, Cinderella).

The design team includes Alexander V. Nichols (scenic/lighting/projection design), Matt Kraus (sound design), and Amy Clark (costume design).

A live onstage band will strike up American Songbook favorites by composers such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and the Gershwins. Expect such classics as "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Cheek to Cheek," "I Won't Dance," and "The Way You Look Tonight."

Carlyle, the Tony Award-winning dance maker of After Midnight, collaborated with book writer Peter Duchan (Dogfight), “combining more than two dozen show-stopping numbers from RKO's catalog to create a fizzy cocktail of live music with state-of-the-art digital projections and floor-splintering tapping,” according to press notes.

Tickets, priced from $65 to $85, are available online at

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