Lisa Brescia Steps Into Starring Role in The Times They Are A-Changin’

News   Lisa Brescia Steps Into Starring Role in The Times They Are A-Changin’
Lisa Brescia has replaced Caren Lyn Manuel in the role of “Cleo” in the now-previewing Twyla Tharp-Bob Dylan musical The Times They Are A-Changin’.
Lisa Brescia
Lisa Brescia

No official reason was given for the change. Manuel was a new addition to the cast. The role of Cleo was played by Jenn Colella in the San Diego world premiere in early 2006.

Brescia (The Woman in White, Aida) was previously the standby for the role. She will play her first performance Oct. 3, the musical’s tenth preview performance at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Opening is Oct. 26.

James L. Nederlander, Hal Luftig/Warren Trepp, Debra Black, East of Doheny, Rick Steiner/ Mayerson Bell Group, Terry Allen Kramer, Patrick Catullo and Jon B. Platt/ Roland Sturm produce.

Original stars Michael Arden (Big River, Swimming in the Shallows, Bare) and Thom Sesma (Man of La Mancha, Nick & Nora, La Cage Aux Folles) are also in the show. Movin' Out veteran John Selya appears in the ensemble with Lisa Gajda (Spamalot, Movin' Out), Neil Haskell, Jason McDole, Charlie Neshyba-Hodges (Movin' Out), Jonathan Nosan and Ron Todorowski. Alex Brady, Lisa Brescia, John Herrera, Alaine Kashian, Keith Kuhl, Marty Lawson, Joseph Putignano, Cary Tedder and Jason Wooten complete the company.

Billed as "a fresh exploration of the timeless tale of a young man's coming of age," The Times They Are A-Changin' is "set within a low-rent traveling circus run by Capt. Ahrab (Sesma), whose wagon hasn't moved from its location in some time — though not by lack of effort from his ragtag band of clowns and performers," according to previous production notes. "One such circus performer is Cleo (Manuel), a young woman exploited by Capt. Ahrab and loved by his son, Coyote (Arden). Coyote longs for a world outside the confines of the family business, and as the circus show plays out, he must decide whether to flee or stay, and if he does stay, how to inspire change within the troupe." The songlist (listed alphabetically) includes "Blowin' in the Wind," "Desolation Row," "Dignity," "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "Everything Is Broken," "Forever Young," "Gotta Serve Somebody," "Highway 61 Revisited," "I Believe in You," "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," "Just Like a Woman," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Lay Lady Lay," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Maggie's Farm," "Man Gave Names to All the Animals," "Masters of War," "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Not Dark Yet," "On a Night Like This," "Please, Mrs. Henry," "Rainy Day Women," "Simple Twist of Fate," "Summer Days," "The Times They Are A-Changin'".

The design team for The Times They Are A-Changin' features Santo Loquasto (scenic and costume), Donald Holder (lighting) and Peter Hylenski (sound). Musical direction is by Henry Aronson. Orchestrations are by Dylan and Michael Dansicker — who also provides musical adaptation and supervision.

Tickets for The Times They Are A-Changin' at the Brooks Atkinson, 256 West 47 Street are available by calling (212) 307-4100. For more information, visit the show's website at

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