Initial casting has been revealed for the upcoming Broadway premiere of Water for Elephants, scheduled to begin performances at the Imperial Theatre February 24, 2024, ahead of a March 21 opening night. Based on the novel by Sara Gruen, the new musical features a book by Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher) and music and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co. (The Tale of Despereaux). Tony Award-nominated Kimberly Akimbo director Jessica Stone is at the helm.
Grant Gustin (The Flash, Glee) will make his Broadway debut starring as Jacob Jankowski, opposite Isabelle McCalla (Shucked) as Marlena. See the pair sing "Wild" from the musical's score in a newly released music video above.
McCalla will be reprising her performance from the musical's world premiere at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre earlier this year, along with Stan Brown (Homicide: Life in the Streets) as Camel, Joe De Paul (Cirque du Soleil's Dralion) as Walter, Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Barbara, and Wade McCollum (Wicked) as Wade.
Newly joining the musical for the Broadway bow along with Gustin are Gregg Edelman (City of Angels) as Mr. Jankowski and Paul Alexander Nolan (Parade) as August. Additional casting, being handled by Tara Rubin Casting, is to be announced.
The work follows a man who runs away from his life only to find himself with a traveling circus. This stage musical follows a 2011 film adaptation of the novel starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz. Read reviews for the musical's 2023 world premiere in Atlanta here.
The high-flying production will include circus design by Shana Carroll, who's also co-choreographing with Jesse Robb. Also on the creative team are scenic designer Takeshi Kata, costume designer David Israel Reynoso, lighting designer Bradley King, sound designer Walter Trarbach, projection designer David Bengali, hair and makeup designer Campbell Young Associates, puppet designer Camille Labarre, music supervisor and arranger Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Benedict Braxton-Smith, and orchestrator Daryl Waters. Elizabeth Doran is music director, and Cha Ramos will provide fight direction. Timothy R. Semon will be production stage manager. All but Trarbach and Doran are continuing with the production after working on the Atlanta world premiere.