The evening features Tony and Emmy Award winner Tyne Daly in the role of Countess Aurelia, the part originated on Broadway by Tony winner Angela Lansbury and recently played by Tony winner Betty Buckley in a London revival.
Daly leads a cast that also includes E. E. Bell, Brandi Burkhardt, Zachary Ford, Damon Kirsche, Jane Leeves, Vicki Lewis, Bets Malone, James Leo Ryan, Sean Smith, Michael Shepperd and Steven Weber; the artists are accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra and a student chorus. This concert version, created specifically for VPAC by producer Suzi Dietz, is directed by Emmy Award winner David Lee. Darryl Archibald is the musical director.
Thor Steingraber, executive director of VPAC, said in an earlier statement, “One of my lifetime theatrical highlights was seeing Tyne Daly's Tony Award-winning performance in Gypsy on Broadway. In the role of Mama Rose, Daly followed in the footsteps of the legendary Angela Lansbury. Yet again, Daly inherits a powerhouse role originated by Lansbury – Countess Aurelia in Jerry Herman's Dear World. VPAC's concert version is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Daly to bring to life a rarely performed role, the vision of veteran producers Suzi Dietz and David Lee.”
Dear World is based on Jean Giraudoux’s The Madwoman of Chaillot, written in 1943. The musical, according to press notes, "follows Countesses Aurelia, Constance and Gabrielle, who scheme up a plan to stop businessmen from drilling for oil in the Parisian neighborhood of Chaillot. Written as a pithy social commentary, while living in Switzerland during World War II, Giraudoux’s ’bad men’ are corporate fascists, driven by narcissism, greed and a thirst for power. His heroine, Countess Aurelia, who stands firmly against corruption, would fit right into the political climate of today."
The musical features a score by Herman and a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee with the new version by David Thompson.
The Broadway Series at Valley Performing Arts Center continues with Kelli O’Hara (October 14), West Side Story (March 10-12, 2017) and Man of La Mancha (May 5-7).
Single tickets, ranging from $38 - $73, are available. For ticket and subscription information, visit ValleyPerformingArtsCenter.org or call (818) 677-3000. Valley Performing Arts Center is located on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA.
Daly was last on Broadway in It Shoulda Been You; see highlights below.
(Updated September 30, 2016)