Casting and creative details have been released for this year’s trio of semi-staged readings chosen to feature in Aria Entertainment’s popular new musical showcase From Page to Stage.
As previously announced, the 2016 season which is due to play the Tristan Bates Theatre in London’s Covent Garden from 31 October until 20 November, will include readings of Luna Park, Bananaman the Musical and Rehab.
With music by Hyeyoung Kim, lyrics by Michael Cooper and a book by Daniel F. Levin (additional material by Kim and Cooper), Luna Park focuses on the partnership between Skip Dundy and Fred Thompson, the creators of the famous Coney Island theme park.
The performance will be directed by Benji Sperring (The Toxic Avenger, Southwark Playhouse) with musical direction by Nick Barstow (The Burnt Part Boys, Park Theatre).
The cast will include: Geri Allen (The Wicker Husband, Unicorn Theatre); Georgie Ashford (Show Boat, New London Theatre; Barnum, UK tour); Craig Berry (Closer to Heaven, Union Theatre; Miracle On 34th Street, UK tour); Ian Gareth-Jones (Mrs Henderson Presents, Noel Coward Theatre; Oliver!, Leicester Curve); James Gulliford (Labyrinth, Hampstead Theatre; The Stripper, St James Theatre); Michael Hamway (Jackie the Musical, UK tour); Lizzii Hills (The Toxic Avenger, Southwark Playhouse; The Wizard of Oz, West End); and Chris Vincent (The Beatles: Love, Las Vegas; Oliver! Sheffield Crucible).
Written by Leon Paris, Bananaman the Musical brings the much-loved British comic book creation’s eccentric brand of crime-fighting style to the stage. Fred Perry (Cinderella: Boom or Bust!) directs with musical direction by Mal Hall.
The cast includes: Ralph Bogard (Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, Leicester Square Theatre); Olly Dobson (Matilda, West End; Carrie, Southwark Playhouse); Kate Graham (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane; Mamma Mia!, international tour); Jodie Jacobs (Carrie, Southwark Playhouse; Rock of Ages, Shaftesbury Theatre); Gerard McCarthy (Beautiful Thing, Nottingham Playhouse and Leicester Curve; Hollyoaks); Carl Mullaney (Les Misérables, West End; Chicago, West End); Rosie Needham (Legally Blonde, Aberystwyth Arts Centre; The Wedding Singer, Cliffs Pavilion); Quinn Patrick (The Little Shop of Horrors; Jungle Book) and Graham Vick (Mrs Henderson Presents, Noel Coward Theatre; Top Hat, Aldwych Theatre).
Directed by Elliot Davis (Loserville) with musical direction by Bob Broad (Legally Blonde), Rehab is written by Grant Black, Murray Lachlan Young and Elliot Davis.
The story of a rock star who chooses rehab over a prison sentence the cast includes: Kieran Brown (The Phantom of the Opera, West End; Wicked, West End); Cassie Compton (American Psycho, Almeida Theatre; Wicked, Apollo Victoria); Ross Finnie as Barry (Billy Elliot, Cats, West End); Jaymi Hensley (Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, Charing Cross Theatre); Beverley Klein (Platanov/Ivanov, National Theatre; Into the Woods, Royal Opera House); Maria Omakinwa (Show Boat, Sheffield Crucible; The Bodyguard, Adelphi Theatre); Ian Reddington (We Will Rock You, UK tour; Coronation Street; EastEnders) and Damian Williams (Hairspray, Leicester Curve and international tour; Being Tommy Cooper, UK tour).
Now in its fourth year, and following on from a 2015 season that proved to be the event’s most successful to date, this year’s From Page to Stage will also showcase new musicals in progress: The Toyboy Diaries and Pollyanna, song-cycle Heart of Winter and 14-minute musical 21 Chump Street by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Casting and creative details for the showcase evenings are to be announced.
The season is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment with casting by Benjamin Newsome.