Paper Mill Playhouse's world premiere of The Great Gatsby musical is officially open as of October 22, after beginning previews October 12. Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name, the musical is set to continue performances through November 12. Watch the video above to hear all about the musical from the cast and creatives, and check out the reviews here.
The cast is led by Newsies Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan, recently seen in Off-Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors, as millionaire Jay Gatsby, and two-time Tony nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown) as socialite Daisy Buchanan.
"It's been going really great, no pun intended," Jordan tells Playbill of working on the show. "Jay Gatsby is a little bit of an enigma and I think he is intentionally so."
Jordan and Noblezada are joined by Stanley W. Mathis (Jelly’s Last Jam) as Meyer Wolfsheim, Samantha Pauly (Six The Musical) as Jordan Baker, Noah J. Ricketts (Frozen) as Nick Carraway, Paul Whitty (Camelot) as George Wilson, and John Zdrojeski (Good Night, Oscar) as Tom Buchanan.
The Great Gatsby, which features a book by Kait Kerrigan (The Mad Ones) and an original score by Tony nominees Jason Howland and Nathan Tysen (Paradise Square), is set in the Roaring '20s and follows eccentric millionaire Jay Gatsby, who will stop at nothing in his tragic pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, a wealthy young woman whom he loved in his youth. To make such a classic story fresh for the stage, Kerrigan says she wanted to take a closer look at the female characters.
"[The women] are kind of given short shrift in the novel, and painted as very two-dimensional," Kerrigan says. "I was excited about trying to explore the actions that they take, and trying to make sense of them. So that, not that you sympathize with them, but that you understand them."
The cast also features Lauryn Adams, Raymond Edward Baynard, Ayla Ciccone-Burton, Austin Colby, Colin Cunliffe, Natalie Charle Ellis, Curtis Holland, Brianna Kim, Dariana Mullen, Pascal Pastrana, Mariah Reives, Julio Rey, Dan Rosales, Maya Sistruck, Jake Trammel, Jake Urban, Tanairi Vazquez, and Katie Webber. Bruni and choreographer Dominique Kelley say the ensemble cast is incomparable—"wildly overqualified," even.
"All of them bring such a specificity about what they're doing," Bruni says. "Gatsby's parties were filled with all different kinds of people. Very smart people, famous people, hangers-on...and each one of them needs to be specific."
The production also features choreography by Kelley, music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Howland, musical direction by Daniel Edmonds, scenic and projection design by Paul Tate dePoo III, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Cory Pattak, sound design by Brian Ronan, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe and Rachael Geier, and fight and intimacy direction by Rocío Mendez. The production stage manager is Brian Bogin. Casting is by C12 Casting.
"I think I'm most excited for the audience to see this crazy party come to life right in front of their eyes," Ricketts says. "You've got the movie in your head, you've got the book in your head, but when you see it live on stage? Whew. Get ready."
The Great Gatsby is produced by special arrangement with Chunsoo Shin, award-winning Korean theatre producer and OD Company president.