Hoffman, Gravitte, McCormick Set Sail for The Big Time in NY Musical Theatre Fest

News   Hoffman, Gravitte, McCormick Set Sail for The Big Time in NY Musical Theatre Fest
The premiere of The Big Time, the long-aborning new musical comedy by librettist Douglas Carter Beane and composer-lyricist Douglas J. Cohen, gets a starry production in the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) Sept. 16-28.

Christopher Ashley (All Shook Up) will direct the premiere production of the daffy musical set aboard a ocean liner. According to Drama Dept. and producers Keith Degi and Michael S. Rosenberg, "When a United Nations peacekeeping ship is taken over by terrorists from the Dreggish Republic it comes down to the most unlikely duo to save the day — the cruise ship entertainers. Husband and wife lounge singers from Atlantic City lead a ragtag group to defeat the bad guys and change the world for the better. This original musical comedy is one part Anything Goes, one part 'Under Siege,' a little Ealing comedy and a whole lot of heart."

The cast playing 12 performances (longer than usual for NYMF) at The Lion Theatre in Theatre Row includes Bradley Dean (Man of La Mancha, Jane Eyre) as Big Apple, Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins' Broadway) as Donna, Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray) as Grusha, Michael McCormick (Kiss of the Spider Woman) as Leader Residu, Patrick Quinn (A Class Act, The Sound of Music) as Briggs Hopkins and David Beach (Mamma Mia!, Urinetown) as Pavlov. The cast was announced on the NYMF and Drama Dept. websites.

Jonathan Smith is the musical director.

Douglas Carter Beane, artistic director of Off-Broadway's Drama Dept. — a respected troupe that hasn't produced full productions in recent months — is known for his plays As Bees In Honey Drown (Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award, Drama Desk Best Play Nomination); The Country Club (L.A. Times Critics' Choice & Dramalogue Awards); Music From a Sparkling Planet; Mondo Drama; Advice From a Caterpillar (Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination); White Lies; Devil May Care and Old Money. His screenplays include "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar" and "Advice From a Caterpillar" (Best Film, Aspen Comedy Festival, Best Feature, Toyota Comedy Festival).

Composer-lyricist Douglas J. Cohen's works include The Opposite of Sex, No Way to Treat a Lady, The Gig, Children's Letters to God, Barnstormer, Glimmerglass and Boozy. Jeff Croiter is lighting designer.

The Big Time schedule is Sept. 16 at 8 PM, Sept. 19 at 1 PM, Sept. 20 at 4:30 PM and 8 PM, Sept. 21 at 4:30 PM, Sept. 22 at 4:30 PM and 8 PM, Sept. 26 at 1 PM and 8 PM, Sept. 27 at 1 PM and 4:30 PM, Sept. 28 at 8 PM.

For more information, visit www.nymf.org or www.dramadept.org.

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