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Monday, 30 June 2014 22:02

Principal Casting Announced for AN AMERICAN IN PARIS



World Premiere at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France                        




Directed and Choreographed by CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON

Principal casting has been announced for the upcoming world premiere production of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. The cast will include Robert Fairchild as Jerry Mulligan, Leanne Cope as Lise Dassin,Veanne Cox as Madame Baurel, Jill Paice as Milo Davenport, Brandon Uranowitz as Adam Hochberg, and Max Von Essen as Henri Baurel. 

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will be directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, making his Broadway directing debut. Inspired by the Academy-Award winning film, AN AMERICAN IN PARISbrings this classic tale to Broadway for the first time with music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a book by Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig Lucas.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS transforms the timeless story of love in a city rebuilding from the heartbreak of World War II - into a new Broadway musical of hope, redemption and romance.  

The producers are Pittsburgh CLO (Van Kaplan) and Théâtre du Châtelet (Jean-Luc Choplin) by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical (Stuart Oken) and Roy Furman

The creative team includes Tony Award winners Bob Crowley (sets and costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Jon Weston (sound) with a musical score adapted and arranged by Rob Fisher and casting byTelsey + Company/Rachel Hoffman.  Brad Haak is the musical director with orchestrations by Christopher Austin.

Leanne Cope is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will open on Broadway in spring 2015 following its world premiere in December, 2014 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. 

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will be presented at Théâtre du Châtelet in English featuring the 26-member Broadway cast with a score including the songs “I Got Rhythm,”  “‘SWonderful,” “But Not For Me,” “Stairway to Paradise,” “Our Love Is Here To Stay”, “They Can’t Take That Away” and orchestral music including “Concerto in F,” “2nd Prelude,” “2nd Rhapsody” and “An American In Paris.”

Additional casting will be announced at a later date.


ROBERT FAIRCHILD (Jerry Mulligan) is currently a member of NYCB, where he has been a principal dancer for 5 seasons.  He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and began his dance training at age four. His formal ballet training began at age ten at Ballet West Conservatory. Robbie began attending The School of American Ballet (SAB) as a full time student in the fall of 2003.  In June 2005, Robbie became an apprentice with NYCB, and the following year joined the Company as a member of the Corps de Ballet. He has been a soloist with NYCB since 2007 and a Principal Dancer since 2009. Robbie danced as a special artist in the NY Philharmonic production of Carousel Directed by John Rando and choreographed by Warren Carlyle. Recipient of the Mae L. Wein Award for Outstanding Promise at SAB. Robbie is newly married to Principle Dancer Tiler Peck, also of NYCB.

LEANNE COPE (Lise Dassin) trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company in 2003, promoted to First Artist in 2009. She has created several roles for the Company and has built a particularly strong relationship with Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett, who has described her as having “a presence on stage like no other.” Cope's role creations for Scarlett have included Emily Dimmock and Annie E. Crook (Sweet Violets) and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), and she has also created roles in DGV: Danse à grande vitesseAlice’s Adventures in WonderlandAs One, Tuckett’s Timecode and works by Scarlett, Jonathan Watkins and Samantha Raine in The Royal Ballet's Draft Works. Cope was born in Bath and began dancing at the age of five. She trained at The Dorothy Colebourne School of Dance before joining The Royal Ballet Lower School at the age of 11, going on to graduate through the School. Her repertory with the Company has included Clara (The Nutcracker), Princess Louise (Mayerling), pas de six (Giselle), White Cat and Red Riding Hood (The Sleeping Beauty), Mustard Seed (The Dream) and roles in Asphodel MeadowsConcertoSong of the EarthSensoriumFour Temperaments and ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Cafe

VEANNE COX (Madame Baurel) received the 2014 Drama Desk Award for excellence and significant contributions to the theatre. Most recently she appeared in The Old Friends, at Signature Theatre, The Most Deserving, at The Women's Project, and Present Laughter, at Two River Theatre Co. and on TV in “Louie”, “Smash”, “Pan Am” and "Two Broke Girls".  Broadway: A Free Man of Color; La Cage aux Folles; Caroline, or Change; The Dinner Party; Company (Tony & DramaDesk nominations); and Smile. Off-Broadway: Obie Award for SustainedExcellence; Damn Yankees (Encores!); Blind (Rattlestick); Paradise Park (Signature,Lortel nom.); Spain (Lortel nom.); Last Easter (Drama Desk nom.); The Wooden Breeks (MCC); House and GardenLabor Day (MTC); The AltruistsBatting CageThe Waiting Room; Flora, the Red Menace (Vineyard); Freedomland (Playwrights Horizons); A Question of Mercy (NYTW); The Food Chain; The Vagina Monologues; A Mother a Daughter and a Gun; and Love Loss and What I Wore. Regional: The Beaux’ Stratagem (Helen Hayes nom.) Merry Wives of WindsorTwelfth NightThe Way of the World, (Shakespeare Theatre Co.); Private Lives (Guthrie); Betty’s Summer Vacation, The Boy Friend (Bay Street); Prisoner of Second Avenue (Berkshire Theatre Festival); The Imaginary Invalid (Yale), The Importance of Being Earnest (La Jolla); A Flea in Her Ear (Long Wharf). Notable film and TV includes: Erin Brockovich, Big Eden, Beethoven's 4TH, You've Got Mail, Marci X, “Seinfeld,” “Cinderella,” “Boston Legal,” “Royal Pains,” “Joan of Arcadia” and all “Law and Orders.”

JILL PAICE (Milo Davenport). Broadway: Matilda (Miss Honey), The 39 Steps (Annabella, Pamela, Margaret), Curtains (Niki), The Woman in White (Laura). West End: Gone with the Wind (Scarlett), The Woman in White (Laura). Off Broadway/NY: Death Takes a Holiday(Grazia), Tokio Confidential (Isabella), Company (Susan, NY Philharmonic), Where's Charley (Kitty, Encores), A Little Night Music (Anne, Roundabout). Tour/Regional: Mamma Mia (Sophie, Vegas Co.), Les Miserables, Chess (Florence, Signature –Helen Hayes Award nom),Lend Me a Tenor (Maggie, Papermill), White Christmas (Betty, Detroit and Papermill). TV: “Unforgettable,” “Person of Interest,” “White Collar,” “The Beautiful Life.” Education: Baldwin-Wallace College.

BRANDON URANOWITZ (Adam Hochberg) was most recently nominated for the 2014 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Arnold Beckoff in Torch Song Trilogy directed by Michael Kahn. Broadway/National tour: Baby, It’s You!; the Broadway National Tour of RENT (Michael Greif, dir.); Modell in the pre-Broadway workshops of Diner (Kathleen Marshall, dir.) with a score by Sheryl Crow. Off-Broadway: Feste in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (2009 Falstaff Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor). Regional: Adult Eugene in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound at The Old Globe (Scott Schwartz, dir.). TV: Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central); Law and Order: Criminal Intent (NBC); As The World Turns (CBS)Film: Stage Fright (Magnolia Pictures), starring Minnie Driver. BFA: Tisch School of the Arts.

MAX VON ESSEN (Henri Baurel) recently completed a run on Broadway in the revival of Evita, appearing as Agustin Magaldi and regularly stepping in as Che. His other Broadway credits includethe 1st revival of Les MisérablesDance of the Vampires, the closing company of the original Les Misérables and the 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. Max recently appeared in the world premiere of Maury Yeston's Death Takes a Holiday at the Roundabout Theater Company and the Transport Group's revival of Michael John LaChiusa's Hello Again (Drama League Nom)Other NY projects include Jerry Springer: The Opera (Carnegie Hall), Finian's Rainbow (Irish Repertory Theatre) and The Fantasticks (Sullivan Street Playhouse). TV/Film: “The Good Wife,” “Royal Pains,” “Gossip Girl,” The Beautiful LifeSex and the City 2, the hit web series ‘Submissions Only” and the upcoming films, Seven LoversThe Intern, and Blonde.

GEORGE GERSHWIN (Composer) was born in Brooklyn in 1898 and began his musical training at 13. At 16 he quit high school to work for a music publisher, and soon was writing songs himself. The Gershwins’ shows include Lady Be Good; Oh, Kay!; Strike Up the Band; Girl Crazy; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Of Thee I Sing. George’s classical masterpieces include “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Concerto in F,” “An American in Paris” and “Second Rhapsody.” In the late ’20s George became fascinated by the DuBose Heyward novel,Porgy. The folk opera Porgy and Bess had its Broadway premiere in October of 1935. In 1937 George was at the height of his career. While working on the score of The Goldwyn Follies in Hollywood, he collapsed and died of a brain tumor. He was not quite 39 years old.

IRA GERSHWIN (Lyricist), 1896-1983, was the first songwriter to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In 1918 with The Real American Folk Song (Is a Rag), he began a remarkable collaboration with his younger brother, George. Their Lady Be Good, a 1924 hit, became the first of their more than 20 scores for stage and screen (he was nominated for three Academy Awards), including the opera Porgy and Bess. His collaborations with George, as well as with Vincent Youmans, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Aaron Copland, Harry Warren, Arthur Schwartz and Burton Lane, set a new standard for the American musical theatre.

CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON (Director & Choreographer) joined New York City Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to Soloist in 1998.  He served as NYCB’s first-ever Artist in Residence in 2000/01 and was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer in July 2001. Since then he has choreographed at least one ballet a year for NYCB. Outside the ballet world, he choreographed Dance of the Hours for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Ponchiellia’s La Gioconda (2006), as well as ballet sequences for the feature film Center Stage(2000) and Sweet Smell of Success on Broadway (2002). In 2007, Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. In 2009, Wheeldon worked with Richard Eyre on a production of the opera Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera House and in 2010 his new version of The Sleeping Beauty had its premiere with The Royal Danish Ballet. His new full-length ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was created for The Royal Ballet and given its premiere at the Royal Opera House in February 2011.  In May 2011, Wheeldon created Thirteen Diversions for American Ballet Theatre and, in January 2012, Les Carrillons as part of an all Wheeldon evening at the NYCB. His awards include the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, the American Choreography Award, a Dance Magazine Award, the London Critic’s Circle Award for best new ballet for Polyphonia, and two Olivier awards, most recently for Aeternum choreographed in January 2013 for the Royal Ballet. Mr. Wheeldon’s recent production of Cinderella won the 2013 Benois De La Danse.

CRAIG LUCAS (Book) is author of the plays Missing Persons, Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss (Obie Award for Best Play; Tony nomination & Pulitzer finalist), God's Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy (Obie Award for Best Play), The Singing Forest, Prayer for My Enemy and The Lying Lesson. Screenplays include Blue Window, Longtime Companion (Sundance Audience Award), Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, The Secret Lives of Dentists (New York Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay)and The Dying Gaul. His musical works includeThree Postcards (music & lyrics by Craig Carnelia), The Light in the Piazza (Tony nomination; music & lyrics by Adam Guettel), the opera Orpheus in Love (music by Gerald Busby) and the opera Two Boys (music by Nico Muhly). He has provided new English-language adaptations of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya and Brecht’s Galileo. His directorial work includes the movies The Dying Gaul and Birds of America, the world premiere The Light in the Piazza, the world premiere of Harry Kondoleon’s last play,Saved or Destroyed (Obie Award for directing), the New York premiere of Kondoleon’s Play Yourself as well as his own play (co-authored with David Schulner) This Thing of Darkness. He has also received the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Laura Pels Mid-Career Achievement Award from PEN American Center, NEA Fellowship(s), a Rockefeller Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

BOB CROWLEY (Set and Costume Design).  Theatre includes The History Boys (National Theatre; Broadway, Tony Award), Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Plantagenets (RSC, Olivier Award), Don Carlos (Met), Pavane and Anastasia (RoyalBallet), La Traviata (ROH), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, Canada).  Current/upcoming Broadway:  AladdinThe Glass MenagerieOnce (Tony), The Coast of Utopia (Tony), Carousel (Tony), Aida (Tony), Tarzan, Mary Poppins (Tony), The Year of Magical Thinking. Recipient of the Royal Designerfor Industry Award and the Robert L. B.Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement inTheatrical Design.

NATASHA KATZ (Lighting Design) has designed extensively for theater, opera, and dance. Current/upcoming Broadway:  AladdinOnce (Tony Award).  Recent Broadway: The Glass Menagerie, FolliesSister ActThe Addams FamilyThe Little MermaidThe Coast of Utopia: Salvage (Tony Award), A Chorus Line (revival), Spelling BeeTarzanAida (Tony Award) and Beauty and the Beast. Opera/dance/other include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet), Cinderella (Dutch National Ballet), Buried Child (National Theatre, London), Cyrano(the Met), Carnival of the Animals (NYCB), Swan Lake (Edinburgh Festival). Concert acts: Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret and Tommy Tune. Permanent lighting installations: Niketown NYC and London and the Big Bang at the Museum of Natural History in NYC.

JON WESTON (Sound Design) Broadway Credits Include: The Bridges Of Madison County; Big Fish; How To Succeed…; 13 The Musical; Les Miserables; The Color Purple; Caroline, Or Change (AUDELCO Award); Nine; Thoroughly Modern Millie. Off-Broadway and Regional:The Bridges Of Madison County (Williamstown); Little Miss Sunshine (Second Stage); The Last Five Years (Second Stage); Parade (dir. By Rob Ashford); Death Takes A Holiday (Drama Desk nom.); Family Guy Live! (Carnegie Hall)

ROB FISHER (Musical Score Adaptation and Arrangement) is an internationally distinguished artistic director, conductor and pianist, is a leading figure in American music and musical theatre. He was founding music director of Encores! (New York City Center) from 1994-2005 and made numerous recordings including the Grammy Award-winning Chicago cast album. He continues to be a regular guest at Encores! In 2007, Fisher was music director of the Hair in Central Park (and music supervisor for its Tony-winning 2009 Broadway run) and led the New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed revival of My Fair Lady.  More recently, he was music supervisor of the Broadway revival of the Tony-winning Anything Goes and in April 2012, conducted a one-night gala performance of The Sound of Musicat Carnegie Hall. Besides Encores!, Fisher has a long association with other New York series. For Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, he served as Producer/Music Director creating tributes to the Gershwins, Bernstein and Cole Porter. This season, he will be presenting a program of John Kander songs. Fisher has made nine appearances on the Lyrics & Lyricists series at NY’s 92nd Street Y, usually with his friend Sheldon Harnick as host, reuniting this season to celebrate the influence of W.S. Gilbert. A regular guest conductor for major US orchestras, Fisher collaborates in concert with Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Victoria Clark, Brian Stokes Mitchell and David Hyde Pierce. Fisher was music director for Garrison Keillor’s American Radio Company and remains a frequent guest on “A Prairie Home Companion.”

BRAD HAAK (Musical Director) Broadway: Il Divo: A Musical Affair, Mary Poppins, Lestat. National tours: The Lion KingMiss Saigon. As music supervisor and orchestrator for composer Paul Gordon: 14 U.S. and 4 international productions of Daddy Long LegsJane Eyrein Tokyo, and Little Miss Scrooge (all with director John Caird) as well as Jane Austen's Emma and the upcoming Sense and Sensibility. Regional highlights include Follies (Jeff Award, music direction), Sunday in the Park With George at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Concert collaborations with Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Sir Paul McCartney; orchestrator for New York Pops, Boston Pops, National Symphony and LA Philharmonic; conductor for this spring's Children of Eden at the Kennedy Center.

CHRISTOPHER AUSTIN (Orchestrations) is one of Britain’s foremost conductors, and is also acclaimed as an exceptionally skilled and imaginative orchestrator. Dance orchestration credits include The Royal Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (music by Joby Talbot), and Rambert Dance Company’s Elysian Fields (music by Alex North). In 2006 Christopher’s arrangements of songs by the White Stripes were featured in Wayne McGregor’s ballet Chroma, for The Royal Ballet. Film orchestration credits include Joby Talbot’s music for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow, Jeremy Sams’ scores for Hyde Park on Hudson and Enduring Love and Dan Jones’ score for Max (the last two of these being Ivor Novello Award-winners).

TELSEY + COMPANY (Casting). Broadway/Tours: Honeymoon in Vegas, The Last Ship, This is Our Youth, The Cripple of Inishmaan, If/Then, All the Way, Motown, Kinky Boots, Newsies, Rock of Ages, Wicked, Evita, Porgy and Bess, Sister Act, Million Dollar Quartet. Off-Broadway: Piece of My Heart, Macbeth, Atlantic, MCC, 2nd Stage, Signature. Regional: A.R.T., Dallas Theater Center, Goodman, La Jolla, New York Stage and Film, Paper Mill. Film: Focus, Into the Woods, Song One, The Last Five Years, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Friends with Kids, Margin Call, Sex and the City 1 & 2, I Love You Phillip Morris, Rachel Getting Married, Dan in Real LifeAcross the Universe.TV: “Masters of Sex,” “The Sound of Music Live!,” “Smash,” “The Big C,” commercials.

PITTSBURGH CLO (Producer), founded in 1946, is one of the nation’s leading professional non-profit theatres dedicated to actively creating, preserving and promoting live musical theater.  Fortunate for the support of more than 200,000 patrons, its year-round initiatives include producing a subscription series of six classic Broadway musicals and roster of smaller-scale musicals and plays for the CLO Cabaret; developing and producing national tours; producing and investing in new works (18 Broadway musicals to date, including last season’s Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Kinky Boots and Matilda), and its nationally-engaged Construction Center for the Arts. Pittsburgh CLO enriches its community and reaches new audiences through a range of education programs such as the Gallery of Heroes series of original musicals in local schools and theatre arts training for young performers at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater, CLO Mini Stars, Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater and The National High School Musical Theater Awards, the subject of the 2012 PBS documentary series titled "Broadway or Bust."   Van Kaplan is in his 17th year as the organization's Executive Producer.

THẾÂTRE DU CHÂTELET (Producer).  One of the most beautiful theaters located in the heart of Paris with 2000 seats, the Théâtre du Châtelet, has played a major role in the history of music and performing arts for the past 150 years. The Théâtre du Châtelet is a public theatre, and receives a 17,000,000€ yearly subsidy from the City of Paris.  In July 2006 Jean-Luc Choplin was appointed General Manager of the Théâtre. He has not only maintained the theatre’s tradition of excellence in lyric and choreographic creations, but also reached a large public by creating international artistic events with daring and freshness.  Jean-Luc Choplin has presented the premieres of many great musicals in full operatic scale at the Châtelet  including West Side StoryOn the TownThe Sound of MusicMy Fair LadyA Little Night MusicSweeney ToddSunday in the Park with George, Carousel and this season Into the Woods and The King and I.  It was a great discovery and a huge success which prompted international media to call the Châtelet “Broadway in France.”

ELEPHANT EYE THEATRICAL (Producer) operates under the direction of Stuart Oken.  Past projects include The Addams Family, Saved (Playwrights Horizons) and Venice (The Public Theatre). From 1995-2004, Mr. Oken served as Executive Vice-President and co-head of Disney Theatrical Productions.  At Disney, he developed and produced The Lion KingDer Glockner Von Notre Dame (a German language world premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Aida.  Between 2004-2008, Mr. Oken co-founded and served as Artistic Director of The American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University.  From 1978-1985, he was founder and producer of Chicago’s Apollo Theater Center.  Mr. Oken has produced the motion pictures About Last NightImpromptu, and Queens Logic.

ROY FURMAN (Producer) currently on Broadway: The Book of Mormon (Tony award), The Last Ship, It’s Only a Play, This is Our Youth, Cinderella, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Bullets Over Broadway and Rocky.  Upcoming:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and A Delicate Balance.  Other productions include: A Raisin in the Sun (Tony), After Midnight, Betrayal, In The Heights (Tony), West Side Story, The Addams Family, The History Boys (Tony), Gypsy, Spamalot (Tony), The Color Purple, Lucky Guy and Fosse(Tony). Mr. Furman co-founded the international investment firm, Furman Selz, and is now Vice Chairman of Jefferies LLC and Chairman of Jefferies Capital Partners, a group of private equity funds.  He is Vice Chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Chairman Emeritus of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.  Mr. Furman formerly served as National Finance Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and was National Fund Chairman of Harvard Law School.


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