Passing Strange Star Rebecca Naomi Jones to Replace Stephanie Blake in Beautiful City | Playbill

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News Passing Strange Star Rebecca Naomi Jones to Replace Stephanie Blake in Beautiful City Passing Strange and Wig Out! star Rebecca Naomi Jones will join the cast of Off-Broadway's This Beautiful City March 7.

Rebecca Naomi Jones
Rebecca Naomi Jones Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The actress will succeed Marsha Stephanie Blake, who is leaving to begin work on the Broadway-bound revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Jones will play to the end of the New York premiere run on March 15.

Steven Cosson directs the co-production with Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group. John Carrafa (Urinetown) choreographs, and Erik James provides music direction.

Using its signature documentary style (seen in Off-Broadway's Gone Missing), New York theatre company The Civilians "explores the growth of the evangelical Christian movement," according to This Beautiful City press notes. The play with music was "drawn principally from interviews The Civilians conducted with people involved with or affected by the mega-church movement in Colorado Springs." Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis are credited as writers with Michael Friedman taking on music and lyrics.

The Off-Broadway cast (who conducted those interviews over the course of ten weeks) features Emily Ackerman, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Brad Heberlee, Brandon Miller, Stephen Plunkett and Alison Weller. Musicians include Chris Biesterfeldt, Benjamin Campbell and Richard Huntley.

Following a world premiere at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, KY, the work played (with the above cast) at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in L.A.

The design team includes Neil Patel (set), Alix Hester (costume), David Weiner (lighting), Ken Travis (sound) and Jason Thompson (projection).

Tickets ($60) to This Beautiful City at The Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th Street, are available by calling (212) 353-0303. Student rush tickets ($20, limited) are available two hours before the show at the box office (with valid student ID, 2 tickets per ID). For more information visit

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