First Performance of Josephine, Starring Deborah Cox, Canceled

News   First Performance of Josephine, Starring Deborah Cox, Canceled
Previews are now scheduled to begin April 28.
Deborah Cox and Mark Campbell
Deborah Cox and Mark Campbell John Revisky

The first performance of the new, Broadway-bound musical Josephine, which was scheduled for April 27 at the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, has been canceled.

In a statement Michael Donald Edwards, producing artistic director of Asolo Rep, said in a statement, “Josephine is a complicated world premiere Broadway-bound musical, and there are many complex elements involved in creating a successful production of this caliber. Last night, we at Asolo Rep made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s first preview performance because we felt strongly that this production needed one more day of technical rehearsal in order to present the best possible performance for our live audience and to ensure the safety of the cast. We look forward to performances resuming as scheduled on Thursday, April 28.”

Florida's Asolo Rep, in collaboration with Tony Award winner Kenneth Waissman, presents the world premiere of the new musical, which is scheduled to officially open May 6. Performances continue through May 29.

The cast is headed by Grammy nominee Deborah Cox (Broadway's Aida, Jekyll & Hyde) as the legendary African-American performer Josephine Baker.

Directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely, Josephine features a book by Ellen Weston and Mark Hampton; music by five-time Emmy Award nominee and three-time Grammy Award nominee Stephen Dorff; and lyrics by Academy Award, Grammy and Golden Globe nominee and two-time Emmy Award winner John Bettis.

Inspired by Stephen Papich's book Remembering Josephine, the musical, according to press notes, "revolves around Baker's stint as the star of the Folies Bergère in Paris between 1939-45, her scandalous affair with Swedish Crown Prince Gustav VI, and her heroic service in the French Resistance during World War II."

The cast also includes Kevin Earley as Jo Bouillon, Josephine Baker's band conductor and love interest; and Mark Campbell as Baker's forbidden lover, Prince Gustav VI of Sweden.

The new musical has orchestrations, arrangements and musical supervision by Steve Orich; scenic design by Paul Tate dePoo III; costume design by Eduardo Sicangco; lighting design by Brian Nason; sound design by Justin Stasiw; and projection design by Alex Basco Koch.

Tickets, starting at $24, are on sale now by calling (941) 351-8000 or (800) 361-8388; visiting visit; or at the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office in the theatre lobby.

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