Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hello! My Baby Premieres at Rubicon Theatre


Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura opens the world premiere of Hello! My Baby, a Tin-Pantastic new musical from Cheri Steinkellner, (Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning writer of Cheers, Tony nominee for Sister Act: The Musical) on March 24. Dubbed a “new-fashioned musical romance,” Hello! My Baby both embraces and gently satirizes Broadway and movie musicals, rebooting the songs of Berlin, Gershwin, Kern, and a score of others, smartly weaving these updated hits into a fresh and funny farce for all ages.

Set in the early part of the last century on the sidewalks of New York, the story follows Mickey McKee, King of the Song-Pluggers, who dreams of writing the next Tin Pan Alley million-selling hit song. Only problem is Mickey can't write a note – until he meets Nelly Gold, a factory worker with a talent for tunes and moxie to spare. Mickey and Nelly make beautiful music together until she puts on the trousers she once sewed, calls herself Ned, and becomes the new King of the Pluggers and Mickey's arch-rival. These mismatched young lovers and their unlikely friends sing, dance, bicker, and coo from Debutante Balls to Delancey Street, confronting class struggles, social reform, gender-swapping, street-thugs, and a whole lot of ukuleles, as they sell the songs we're still humming a hundred years later.

Brian McDonald directs the 22-member cast led by young up-and-comers Ciarán McCarthy and Evie Hutton. McCarthy, a Dubliner who trained at AMDA in New York, plays the cocky and charismatic Irish immigrant Mickey McKee. McCarthy appeared in the National Tour of The Wedding Singer and has worked with Musical Theatre West and MTG since moving to the L.A. area. Hutton, recently returned to L.A. from the National Tour of Hairspray, plays plucky Nellie Gold, a young Jewish factory worker who struggles to bring in the money needed to pay rent on the Lower East Side tavern which is home for Nellie and her orphaned sisters.

The cast will also feature George Wendt and Kristine Zbornik as Bert and Ethel Coots, Jordan Kai Burnett as Nellie’s older sister Francis, McKenna Kylie Tedrick as outspoken younger sister Violet, George Ball as Stanford Tierney, an ambitious industrialist with a soft spot for his grandchildren Junior (Will Sevedge) and Alice (Lilli Babb), Harley Jay as Johnny Giovanni, Zach Johnson (Kid Vicious), Erick Paul (Dickie the Duck), Ixchel Lopez (Marie), Tad Murroughs (Albie), Jacob Mattison (Artie), Rich Hoag, Jeremy Lucas (dance captain), Allison Paraiso, Teya Patt, Neil Starkenberg, Lauryn Tillery and Carly Wielstein.

The creative team includes Lloyd Cooper (musical director), Lee Martino (choreographer), Craig Safan (arranger/orchestrator), Brian P. Kennedy (associate musical director/copyist), William Keeler (dramaturge), Thomas S. Giamario (set design), Jeremy Pivnick (lighting design), Marcy Froehlich (costumes), Jonathan Burke (sound designer) and T. Theresa Scarano (set dressing and props). Linda M. Tross and Kathleen J. Parsons are stage managers.

Hello! My Baby will run March 24 - April 15 at Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street, Ventura, CA  93001. Talkbacks with the actors and director will be held after the 7:00 p.m. Wednesday performances on March 28 and April 4. For tickets and info go to www.rubicontheatre.org.

Following the run in Ventura, Hello! My Baby will be reprised in Santa Barbara as Rubicon makes its first foray to the historic 680-seat Lobero Theatre for performances May 4 - 6. Tickets may be purchased at www.lobero.com or by calling (805) 963-0761.

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