PHOTO CALL: LaChiusa's Queen of the Mist, Starring Mary Testa, Plays Off-Broadway

News   PHOTO CALL: LaChiusa's Queen of the Mist, Starring Mary Testa, Plays Off-Broadway
Tony Award-nominated composer-lyricist-librettist Michael John LaChiusa takes on an American icon in Queen of the Mist, starring Tony nominee Mary Testa as Anna Edson Taylor, the first person to survive the plunge over Niagara Falls. The Transport Group's environmental staging began performances Oct. 18 at The Gym at Judson Memorial Church.

Transport Group artistic director Jack Cummings III (See Rock City, The Boys in the Band) directs the Off-Broadway production that will officially open Nov. 6 for a run through Nov. 20. Queen of the Mist is the inaugural production of Transport Group's 20th Century Project, "a ten-year initiative spanning ten productions, each production focusing on a different decade of the 20th century." Queen of the Mist focuses on the decade 1900-1910.

Here is a look at the show:

In addition to Testa (On the Town, 42nd Street, First Lady Suite, See What I Wanna See) as real-life celebrity Taylor, the cast also features Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific, Tales of the City); D.C. Anderson (The Phantom of the Opera, The Life Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby); Stanley Bahorek (See Rock City & Other Destinations, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee); Theresa McCarthy (Titanic, Floyd Collins); Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party, First Lady Suite); and Tally Sessions (The House of Blue Leaves, Yank!).

Here's how the show is billed: "Based on an astounding, outrageous, and haunting true story, Queen of the Mist stars two-time Tony nominee Mary Testa as Anna Edson Taylor, who, in 1901 at the age of 63, set out to be the first woman to shoot Niagara Falls — in a barrel of her own design. Navigating both the treacherous Falls and a fickle public with a ravenous appetite for sensationalism, this unconventional heroine vies for her legacy in a world clamoring with swindling managers, assassins, revolutionaries, moralizing family, anarchists, and activists. Convinced that there is greatness in her and determined not to live as ordinary, she sets out to battle her fear and tempt her fate. With a score that incorporates turn-of-the-century themes with signature LaChiusa elements, Queen of the Mist is the story of a single great fall, and how one woman risked death so that she could live." Queen of the Mist's creative team includes choreographer Scott Rink (Hello Again, Crossing Brooklyn); musical director Chris Fenwick (See What I Wanna See); orchestrator Michael Starobin (Hello Again, Falsettos, Sunday in the Park With George, two-time Tony winner for Next To Normal and Assassins); scenic designer Sandra Goldmark (Hello Again, The Boys in the Band); costume designer Kathryn Rohe (The Boys in the Band, Hello Again); lighting designer R. Lee Kennedy (The Audience, Bury The Dead and See Rock City & Other Destinations); and sound designer Walter Trarbach (The Farnsworth Invention, Cymbeline).

The production manager is Charles Hubbard; production stage manager is Wendy Patten; casting is by Nora Brennan Casting; dramaturg is Kristina Corcoran Williams; associate director is Gregg Wiggans.

Queen of the Mist was commissioned by Transport Group Theatre Company and is made possible through major support from The Shen Family Foundation, which is committed to new musical theatre writers who take risks beyond commercial boundaries.

General admission tickets start at $58; premium reserved seating tickets start at $65; opening night tickets are $65; gala fundraiser tickets are $95. For tickets and information, visit or phone (866) 811-4111.

The Gym at Judson Memorial Church is located at 243 Thompson Street at Washington Square South in Greenwich Village. 

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