New York Off-Broadway theatre company J2 Spotlight has announced casting for its 2023 season opener, Woman of the Year. The 1981 Kander and Ebb work, originally starring Lauren Bacall, adapted the film of the same title into the Tony Award winning-musical.
The upcoming production, running Off-Broadway at Theatre Row April 13–April 23, marks the first revival of the musical to be staged in New York City, with the company receiving special permission from John Kander, the late Fred Ebb's estate, and the estate of book writer Peter Stone. J2 Artistic Director Robert W. Schneider will direct, with choreography by Deidre Goodwin and music direction by Miles Plant.
Janine LaManna and John Leone will lead the company as famed TV reporter Tess Harding and cartoonist Sam Craig. Joining them will be Eric Michael Gillett as Gerald, Rebecca Spigelman as Helga, Kelly Lester as Jan, and Jake Urban as Alexi, along with Sarah Mackenzie Baron as Ballet Mistress, Andrew Eckert as Chip Salisbury, Jeremy Konopka as Ellis, Tony Romero as Abbott, Timmy Lewis as Phil, Eddie Marco as Pinky, Marcus Canada as Maury. Swings Tyler Mell and Nicole Weitzman round out the company.
The creative and design team includes set designer Joshua Warner, lighting designer Ethan Steimel, costume designer DW, properties designer Emily LaRosa, projections designer Chelsie McPhilimy, dramaturg Frederick Miller, technical director Justin Kirkpatrick, animations designer Zoe Fagundes, and casting by Holly Buczek of Wojack Casting. The stage management team includes Eponine Myles and Maria Papadopolous.
With this production, J2 Spotlight launches their third theatre season, following their debut season in February 2020, which opened with Michael Bennett's Seesaw. J2 Spotlight aims to revive musicals that the company wishes to spotlight, offering an opportunity for those familiar with older works to revisit them, and for new audiences to discover them. Following Woman of the Year, the company will stage Sugar and The Goodbye Girl.