Emick, Lewis-Evans, Kassebaum, Ryness and More Will Join Esparza and Shields in Leap of Faith

News   Emick, Lewis-Evans, Kassebaum, Ryness and More Will Join Esparza and Shields in Leap of Faith
Casting is now complete for the world premiere of the new musical Leap of Faith, which begins performances at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in September.

Jarrod Emick
Jarrod Emick Photo by Aubrey Reuben

As previously announced, four-time Tony nominee Raúl Esparza and Golden Globe Award nominee Brooke Shields will star in Leap of Faith, which will be directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford. Previews will begin Sept. 11 with an official opening scheduled for Oct. 3; performances will continue through Oct. 24.

Esparza will play Reverend Jonas Nightengale, the consummate flim-flam man, and Shields will be Marva, the small-town woman and single mother who challenges everything he believes in. Kendra Kassebaum will play the role of Sam, the Reverend's sister and sidekick.

Principals, according to the show's official website, will also include  Nicholas Barasch, Jarrod Emick, Kecia Lewis-Evans and Leslie Odom, Jr.

 The ensemble will comprise Brad Anderson, Bradley Benjamin, Tom Berklund, Christopher Bones, Krystal Joy Brown, Ta'Rea Campbell, Eric L. Christian, Michelle Duffy, Harvey Evans, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Jennie Ford, Bob Gaynor, Angela Grovey, Shannon Lewis, Michael X. Martin, Maurice Murphy, Anise E. Ritchie, Darcie Roberts, Bryce Ryness, Ariel Shepley, C.E. Smith, Alex Michael Stoll, Dennis Stowe, Katherine Tokarz, Brandon Wardell, Karl Warden, Natalie Willes and Charlie Williams.

Leap of Faith features a score by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, a book by Janus Cercone with Glenn Slater and lyrics by Slater. "When his traveling ministry breaks down in a small Kansas town," press notes state, "part-time reverend and full-time con artist (Esparza) quickly pitches a tent and invites the locals to a revival. The sheriff is determined to stop Jonas from separating the townspeople from their money, but Jonas' real challenge arises when he meets a pretty waitress (Shields) and her son, whose love forces an ultimate cynic to take a real leap of faith."

The new musical is based on the motion picture "Leap of Faith" produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation and written by Janus Cercone.

The musical is the first production in Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre’s 2010-2011 season at the Los Angeles County Music Center.

Tickets for the Ahmanson Theatre’s 2010-2011 season are currently available by subscription only. For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444. To purchase subscriptions on-line, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/Ahmanson. For further information visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/Leap.

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