PHOTO CALL: Anneliese Van Der Pol and Colin Hanlon Star in Jane Austen's Emma

News   PHOTO CALL: Anneliese Van Der Pol and Colin Hanlon Star in Jane Austen's Emma
Anneliese van der Pol stars in the Arizona Theatre Company production of the Paul Gordon musical Jane Austen's Emma, which began performances Dec. 31 in Phoenix, AZ.

Stephen Wrentmore and David Ira Goldstein co-direct the romantic musical comedy based on the literary classic that first played an engagement at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson in early December. Emma will run through Jan. 20, 2013, in Phoenix.

Tony nominee Gordon, familiar to Broadway audiences for the musical Jane Eyre, has penned book, music and lyrics for the musical that previously played engagements at California's TheatreWorks, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park.

Van der Pol (Vanities, Beauty and the Beast, "That's So Raven") stars in the title role, with Andrés Alcalá as Mr. Weston, Richert Easley (Porgy and Bess) as Mr. Woodhouse, Jon Eidson as Robert Martin, Suzanne Grodner (Bye Bye Birdie) as Miss Bates, Colin Hanlon (Rent, Wicked) as Frank Churchill, Brian Herndon as Mr. Elton, Jamison Lingle as Jane Fairfax, Dani Marcus as Harriet Smith, Patty Nieman as Mrs. Weston, Shannon Stoeke as Mr. Knightley, Jill Van Velzer as Mrs. Elton/Mrs. Bates, and ensemble members Chris Karl, Sammie Lideen and Michael Schauble.

Here's how the musical is billed: "In this timeless love story, the beautiful and clever Emma takes pride in her matchmaking abilities but is so preoccupied with the romance of others, shefails to realize that she is clueless when it comes to her own feelings about love. The path to true love is never smooth so, when she takes on the challenge of helping her hapless friend Harriet, her well-intentioned efforts misfire, leading to a whirlwind of comical complications and ultimately, the man of her dreams." Emma has musical direction by Laura Bergquist and choreography by Patricia Wilcox. The creative team also includes Bill Forrester (scenic design), Yoon Bae (costume design), Michael Gilliam (lighting design) and Brian Jerome Peterson (sound design). Julie McBride conducts.

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