Will Swenson, Laura Michelle Kelly, Chip Zien, More Set for Barrington’s The Royal Family

Regional News   Will Swenson, Laura Michelle Kelly, Chip Zien, More Set for Barrington’s The Royal Family
Casting has also been announced for the Massachusetts venue's additional lineup, including A Doll's House, Part 2 and The Cake.
Will Swenson Simon Luethi and Andres Otero

A host of Broadway favorites will populate Barrington Stage Company's world premiere of The Royal Family of Broadway, a new musical comedy based on George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's The Royal Family.

Laura Michelle Kelly_glikas (9)_King_and_I_LA_Opening_31_HR.jpg
Laura Michelle Kelly Bruce Glikas/Playbill

The new musical comes from the Tony-winning creators of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: composer William Finn (Falsettos) and book writer Rachel Sheinkin. The musical will begin previews June 7 prior to an official opening June 13 on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. Directed by Tony winner John Rando and choreographed by Tony nominee Joshua Bergasse, performances will continue through July 7.

The company will be headed by Arnie Burton (Machinal) as Bert, Kathy Fitzgerald (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Kitty Dean, Alan H. Green (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Gil, Tony Award winner Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Fanny, Oliver Award winner Laura Michelle Kelly (Mary Poppins) as Julie, Hayley Podschun (Hello, Dolly!) as Gwen, AJ Shively (Bright Star) as Perry, Tony nominee Will Swenson (Waitress) as Tony, and Chip Zien (Falsettos) as Oscar.

The ensemble will include Holly Ann Butler, Michelle Carter, Tim Fuchs, Tyler Johnson-Campion, Tyler Matthew Roberts, and Jake Vacanti.

The musical has been long been in development, dating back to a February 2000 workshop. Finn had previously worked with librettists James Lapine (his Falsettos and A New Brain collaborator) and Richard Greenberg.

The Royal Family of Broadway is set in the 1920s and concerns the Cavendishes, who are loosely based on the legendary Barrymore family. The musical centers on three generations of actors: a grande dame, a lovelorn Broadway star, a boozing and Hollywood-bound leading man, and a promising ingénue.

The 2018 Barrington season will first kick off May 23 with Mark St. Germain’s Typhoid Mary, starring Miles G. Jackson as Father Michael McKuen, Tasha Lawrence as Mary Mallon, Kevin O’Rourke as Dr. William Mills, and Keri Safran as Dr. Ann Saltzer. Matthew Penn directs.

Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake will begin previews June 21 prior to an official opening June 24. Directed by Jennifer Chambers, the cast will include Ovation Award winner Debra Jo Rupp as Della, Nemuna Ceesay as Macy, Douglas Rees as Tim, and Virginia Vale as Jen.

Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, which begins July 12 prior to a July 15 opening, will star Ashley Bufkin as Emmy, Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley as Torvald, Obie Award winner Laila Robins as Nora, and Mary Stout as Anne Marie. Joe Calarco directs.

West Side Story will follow, running August 3–September 1 with an official opening August 8. Choreographed by Robert La Fosse, and directed by Julianne Boyd, West Side Story will be presented in celebration of the 100th birthdays of Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins. Casting will be announced at a later date.

The season will continue with the world premiere of The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh, directed by Ralph Peña, and presented in a co-production with the Ma-Yi Theater Company (beginning July 20), the world premiere of Well-Intentioned White People by Rachel Lynett, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene (beginning August 16), and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, directed by Julianne Boyd (beginning October 3).

For more information on the upcoming season visit BarringtonStageCo.org.

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