Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Actor's Co-op Presents West Coast Premiere of MISS VULCAN 1939


Roman mythology and 1930's Alabama collide in the zany musical comedy Miss Vulcan 1939, which features book by Marian Partee, lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, and music by Jan Powell. The musical was originally commissioned by Red Mountain Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama to celebrate an actual historical event and is currently being produced by Actor’s Co-op June 23 - July 3, 2011.

The idea was born approximately four years ago when Keith Cromwell, Artistic Director of the Red Mountain Theatre crossed paths with the staff of the Academy for New Musical Theatre, a Los Angeles based organization that the three writers were associated with.

One of Cromwell’s board members had shown him a newspaper article about a beauty contest that took place in Birmingham in 1939, in which Evelyn Tully, a clerk at Kresses Five and Dime, beat out the City's elite in a contest to decide who would be crowned Miss Vulcan. Birmingham is a steel city and has a huge statue of the god Vulcan in Vulcan Park…thus the name of the contest, Miss Vulcan. The story was a perfect situation around which to create a musical and Donfeld, Partee and Powell were commissioned to write it.

A year later, Red Mountain Theatre and Vulcan Park premiered the show, which was so successful that it received a second production the following summer. Donfeld attended the premiere and even met Evelyn Tully, now a distinguished and still beautiful older woman, who was present for the festivities.

Miss Vulcan now receives its west coast premiere at Actor’s Co-op as part of its Co-op Too! Series, produced by Selah Victor and Laura Manchester. Victor previously participated in a developmental reading of the musical at the El Portal Theatre prior to its Birmingham production. Manchester will direct the show, Kelly Stables choreographs and Rob Bowers is the musical director.

The cast will feature Sal Sabella (Glenn Williams), Jean Altadel (Evelyn Tully), Steve Gustafson (Vulcan), Kevin Michael Moran (JC Inglis), Selah Victor (Ruby), Natalie Lander (Pearl) and Charleene Closshey (Opal).

Miss Vulcan 1939 runs June 23 - July 3 in the Crossley Terrace Theatre, 1760 N. Gower Street. For tickets and more information go to http://www.actorsco-op.org/.  

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