Casting Complete for Kennedy Center Carnival

News   Casting Complete for Kennedy Center Carnival
Natascia Diaz, Seán Martin Hingston, Jonathan Lee Iverson, Sebastian La Cause, Ereni Sevasti and Jim Stanek will head the cast of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' upcoming production of Carnival.

The Michael Stewart-Bob Merrill musical will begin performances at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater Feb. 17, 2007, and is scheduled to play through March 11. Directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom, the cast will feature Ereni Sevasti as Lili, Jim Stanek as Paul, Sebastian La Cause as Marco, Natascia Díaz as Rosalie, Jonathan Lee Iverson as Schlegel and Seán Martin Hingston as Jacquot. Bob Billig will conduct.

The creative team for the new Kennedy Center production, which officially opens Feb. 24, comprises Andrew Jackness (set design), Paul Tazewell (costume design), Ken Billington (lighting design), Edward Christie (puppets) and Joe Eddie Fairchild (magic).

Based on the 1953 film "Lili," Carnival, according to press notes, tells the store of "Lili - a girl from an isolated village in France who joins the traveling Grande Imperial Cirque de Paris. Falling for the troupe's manipulative magician, she also enchants a disillusioned puppeteer, who can only show his love through his whimsical creations."

Carnival!, which bowed on Broadway in 1961, features a score by Bob Merrill and a book by Michael Stewart. The original Broadway cast featured Anna Maria Alberghetti, Kaye Ballard, Henry Lascoe, James Mitchell, Pierre Olaf and Jerry Orbach.

Jim Stanek has been seen on Broadway in Lestat, Forum, The Rivals, Little Women and Indiscretions. Stanek is currently part of the Off-Broadway cast of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Sebastian La Cause's Main Stem credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Minnelli on Minnelli, Once Upon a Mattress and Chicago. His screen credits include "All My Children," "One Life to Live," "As the World Turns," "Boogie Nights," "Scream II," "Chicago," "Eraser," "Showgirls" and "Penny Dreadful."

Natascia Diaz, currently in the Off-Broadway revival of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, has performed on Broadway in Man of La Mancha, Seussical, The Capeman and Carousel. Her Off-Broadway credits include tick, tick . . . BOOM!, Saturday Night and Bright Lights, Big City.

Contact, Swing! and Crazy for You are among Seán Martin Hingston's Broadway credits. The Australian native was also seen in the films "The Producers" and "Beyond the Sea."

Jonathan Lee Iverson began his career singing with the Boys Choir of Harlem; at 22 he became the first African-American ringmaster of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Ereni Sevasti has appeared in productions of The Sound of Music, Little Shop of Horrors and The Mystery of Edwin Drood at such theatres as the Paper Mill Playhouse, the George Street Playhouse and The Chatham Playhouse.

Carnival will play Tuesday-Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM with matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 PM. Tickets, priced $25-$90, are available by calling (202) 467-4600. For more information visit

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