Strand & McCarthy's Italian Straw Hat Musical Premieres in CA Sept. 5

News   Strand & McCarthy's Italian Straw Hat Musical Premieres in CA Sept. 5
French playwright Eugene Labiche's durable 1851 farce An Italian Straw Hat gets a new ribbon or two Sept. 5-Oct. 5 in a fresh musical version premiering at South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, CA.

Daniel Blinkoff, a veteran of SCR, plays the harried bridegroom Fadley in the new show, now called An Italian Straw Hat: A Vaudeville. SCR launches its 2008-09 season with its first commissioned musical, which has book and lyrics by John Strand and music by Dennis McCarthy.

The musical "incorporates flavors not only of vaudeville but of ragtime, light opera and barbershop quartet in their adaptation of the classic farce, set in early 1900s New York," according to SCR.

Stefan Novinski directs with musical direction by Dennis Castellano. Performances play the Segerstrom Stage. Opening is Sept. 12.


Blinkoff "portrays Fadley, the hapless bridegroom whose horse has eaten a young lady's hat, sending him on a frantic search to replace the hat or his wedding will be derailed." Blinkoff has appeared in seven SCR productions, most recently as Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. He also has credits around the country, from Yale Rep to Williamstown to Cleveland Play House and beyond.

The cast of ten also includes SCR vets Alan Blumenfeld (Born Yesterday and A Feminine Ending), Patrick Kerr (The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Habeas Corpus and The Triumph of Love), Damon Kirsch (A Little Night Music), Kasey Mahaffy (Taking Steps) and founding artist Richard Doyle, plus SCR newcomers Michelle Duffy, Matthew Koehler, Melissa van der Schyff and Erika Whalen.

The creative team for An Italian Straw Hat: A Vaudeville includes Christine Kellogg (musical staging), Donna Marquet (set design), Shigeru Yaji (costume design), Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz (lighting design), Drew Dalzell (sound design), Megan Monaghan (dramaturg) and Jamie A. Tucker (stage manager).

Lyricist-librettist Strand is a Charles MacArthur Prize winner, author of the SCR hit Lovers and Executioners as well as the West Coast premiere of Tom Walker. Composer McCarthy (who also wrote the musical arrangements) is a film and television composer, and two-time Emmy Award winner, who has composed music for five SCR productions. Director Novinski staged last season's A Little Night Music.

Tickets to An Italian Straw Hat: A Vaudeville can be purchased at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or in person at the SCR box office.

SCR is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, CA.


Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, under the artistic direction of David Emmes and Martin Benson, was founded in 1964. SCR "is committed to theatre that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its education and outreach programs. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new play development program, including the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Of SCR's more than 400 productions, 103 have been world premieres with subsequent stagings achieving enormous success across America and around the world."

In 2002 SCR opened the Folino Theater Center, an expanded three-theatre complex that includes the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.

Today’s Most Popular News: