Tony Award winner Victoria Clark will star in the 2017 Toronto premiere of the new Broadway-aimed musical Sousatzka (formerly Madame Sousatzka), based on the 1988 film starring Shirley MacLaine. Producers posted three song clips from the score on the show’s Facebook page.
The full cast and creative team for the show were announced earlier this week. Joining Clark will be Tony Award winner Judy Kaye and Tony nominee Montego Glover. Clark, who recently made her New York Musical Festival directorial debut with Newton's Cradle, is cast in the title role of the stern Polish piano player and teacher, the part created on film by MacLaine, who won a Golden Globe for her performance. Clark won her Tony for The Light in the Piazza. She was most recently on Broadway in a Tony-nominated performance in the revival of Gigi.
The part of her young student will be played by Jordan Barrow.
The cast of 47 Canadian and American performers will also include Ryan Allen, Sara Jean Ford, Fuschia!, John Hillner, Virginia Preston, Christianne Tisdale, Nick Wyman, plus ensemble members Jewelle Blackman, Ben Bogen, Karen Burthwright, Mark Cassius, Janelle Cooper, Réjean Cournoyer, Alvin Crawford, Saccha Dennis, Bernard Dotson, Rebecca Eichenberger, Shiloh Goodin, Kira Guloien, Mary Gutzi, Tevyn Hill, Jordan Fife Hunt, Erin Lamar, Eryn LeCroy, James Levesque, Hailey Lewis, David Lindo-Reid, Monique Lund, Alison Mccaughney, Cory O’Brien, Travis Pratt, Mya Puryear, Jack Rennie, Tim Shew, Jamal Shuriah, David Silvestri, Kaden Stephen, Eva Tavares, Tryphena Wade, Charles Wallace, J.D Webster, and Jonathan Winsby.
Rehearsals begin December 8. As previously reported, the show will try out at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre February 25-April 9, 2017, with an opening night planned for March 23. Tickets for the Toronto tryout are on sale now at ticketmaster.ca. Planning is underway for an October 2017 Broadway premiere at a theatre to be announced.
Here are three audio-only song clips from the score.
“Let Go” (featuring Victoria Clark):
The production will also mark the Broadway return of Garth Drabinsky, who served 18 months in a Canadian jail for fraud connected with the collapse of his production company, Livent. The Toronto-based producer had developed the show in a June 7-July 17 workshop there that featured a number of Broadway veterans, including Clark.
The musical has a book by Craig Lucas. It is directed by Adrian Noble, with choreography by Graciela Daniele. Also on the Broadway creative team: Tony Award-winning scenic designer Anthony Ward (Mary Stuart), Tony-winning costume designer Paul Tazwell (Hamilton), two-time Tony-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley (Hamilton), Olivier Award-winning projection designer Jonathan Driscoll (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Grammy Award-winning sound designer Martin Levan (Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Show Boat, Cats cast recording), Tony-winning orchestrator Jonathan Tunick (Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Titanic), Grammy-winning musical supervisor David Caddick (Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Les Misérables cast recording), music director Brad Haak (An American in Paris), with additional music and vocal arrangements by Grammy-winning Lebo M. (The Lion King), and additional music arrangements by Grammy-nominated Marius de Vries (the films Moulin Rouge, La La Land).
For more information, visit SousatzkaMusical.com.
Drabinsky and Livent are known for a slate of lavish Broadway productions including Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, Show Boat, Candide, Fosse, and Parade. But because of his unanswered U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indictment in the States, Drabinsky risks arrest if he comes to the U.S., so he will take the title ”creative producer” and leave the operation of the Broadway production to a group called Teatro Proscenium Limited Partnership.
Teatro Proscenium CEO Richard Stursberg issued a statement saying, “To be able to present this remarkable creative team, and cast, and the musical work of one of the best creative producers of our age, is a gift. My association with Garth has proven itself to be one of the most satisfying and enduring creative relationships I’ve ever had, and I look forward to ensuring that he has every resource available to get this inspired show to Broadway, and beyond.”
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and John Schlesinger penned the screenplay for Madame Sousatzka based on the novel by Bernice Rubens. As described by the producers, the musical will be based on the Rubens novel, Sousatzka, set in London, England, in 1982. It tells the story of “a young musical prodigy torn between two powerful women from vastly different worlds: his mother, a political refugee and his piano teacher, a brilliant eccentric with a shattered past. These two proud, iconoclastic women must ultimately cross cultural and racial divides to find common ground, or else put the boy’s destiny in jeopardy.”
(Updated November 29, 2016)
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