The reworked version of Meredith Willson’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown began previews February 8 ahead of its February 26 opening Off-Broadway at the Transport Group. Before heading downtown to the Abrons Arts Center for the full show, watch Beth Malone sing “I Ain’t Down Yet” in the video above.
This mounting marks the show’s first New York production since it opened on Broadway in 1960. With a book by Richard Morris, the musical is a fictional account of the real-life Margaret “Molly” Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic. (Audiences may recall Kathy Bates’ portrayal of Brown in James Cameron’s film.) The events of the original musical follow Brown’s life and her love story with J.J. “Leadeville” Johnny Brown. Molly is after a rich husband and Johnny falls for her. But when they marry and travel to Europe, a Prince’s affections for Molly leave Johnny upset and he returns to Colorado without his wife. When Molly realizes her true love for Johnny, she boards the Titanic to make it home to her love.
Tony nominee Beth Malone (Fun Home) stars in the title role with David Aron Damane (The Book of Mormon) as J.J., Whitney Bashor (The Bridges of Madison County) as Julia, Omar Lopez-Cepero (On Your Feet!) as Vincenzo, Alex Gibson (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Erich, and Paolo Montalban (Pacific Overtures) as Arthur. The production is directed and choreographed by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (Wonderful Town, Anything Goes).
The ensemble features Paula Legett Chase, Karl Josef Co, Kaitlyn Davidson, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Gregg Goodbrod, Michael Halling, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Shina Ann Morris, Keven Quillon, and CoCo Smith.
“I Ain’t Down Yet” became a standard of the era. Here, Malone sings accompanied by Joey Chancey.