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Friday, December 7, 2018

Cast and Crew set for ‘My Very Own British Invasion’ at Paper Mill

British%20Invasion

Paper Mill Playhouse has announced casting and the creative team for the world premiere of My Very Own British Invasion with book by Tony award winner Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher).  My Very Own British Invasion is produced in association with Hal Luftig, Craig Haffner and Rodney RigbyMy Very Own British Invasion will begin performances Thursday, January 31, 2019, and will continue through Sunday, March 3, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). My Very Own British Invasion is generously supported by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2018-2019 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Paper Mill’s Half Time), and with music direction by Lon Hoyt (On Your Feet!), the principal cast will feature newcomer Jonny Amies as Peter, Bryan Fenkart (Waitress) as John, Erika Olson (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Pamela, Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots) as Gino, Conor Ryan (Desperate Measures) as Trip, John Sanders (Groundhog Day) as Fallon, and Daniel Stewart Sherman (Kinky Boots) as The Hammer.  They will be joined by Travis Artz, Gemma Baird, John Campione, Emma Degerstedt, Trista Dollison, Jay Donnell, Graham Scott Fleming, Douglas Goodhart, Cory Jeacoma, Sage Melcher, Jen Perry, and Daniel Yearwood.

This world-premiere musical tells a fable of young love, set against the backdrop of the exploding 1960s music scene – when England launched the little dustup that became known as the British Invasion.  Based on the experiences of Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, who was just a teenager willing to sacrifice international stardom for the sake of girl he loves, the show features more than two dozen chart-topping hits from all the best British bands of the era. 

The production team includes scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Andrew Keister, projection design by Andrew Lazarow, and hair and wig design by Josh Marquette. The production stage manager is Tripp Phillips. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Patrick Goodwin, CSA. Jonny Amies is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. Paper Mill Playhouse gratefully acknowledges Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

“I was 16 when I walked into the Bag O’ Nails in London for the first time,” remarked Peter Noone, singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist and actor, best known as Herman of the successful 1960s pop group Herman's Hermits. “I had the number one record in England (“I’m Into Something Good”) and John Lennon got me a drink as I sat and watched the hoi polloi of what is now known as the British Invasion—Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Twiggy, Richard Harris, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger, Mary Quant, and many more.  Somehow the music had connected us all! Each person had a song that went with their character and I knew this musical story was meant to be put on a stage.”

My Very Own British Invasion will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. All major credit cards accepted. Groups of 10 or more may receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Season subscriptions are on sale now and are available by calling 973.379.3717.  Students may order $23-$28 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance. My Very Own British Invasion is generously supported by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JONNY AMIES (Peter) recently graduated from the Italia Conti Academy in London with a BA Honours in Acting. While completing his studies, Jonny landed his first television role in the new Netflix/Eleven Film series Sex Education. Previous theater credits include The Good Person of Sichuan at The Space (Edinburgh Fringe), and his roles at Italia Conti included Posner in The History Boys; Mike in Saved; Hench in Yen; Todd in Stockholm; Somerset in Henry VI, Part 1; Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors; and Krogstad in A Doll’s House. Jonny is delighted to be making his professional theatrical debut at Paper Mill Playhouse.

BRYAN FENKART (John). Broadway/First National Tour: Memphis, Waitress. Regional: Darling Grenadine, A Sign of the Times (Goodspeed); These Paper Bullets! (Yale Rep, Atlantic); Diner, Piece of My Heart (Signature); Nobody Loves You (Second Stage). TV/Film: “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” Red Hook, You Tell Me. Albums: Imperfect Man, Simple & Grey, “We Are” (single). BFA from MGSA/Rutgers.

ERIKA OLSON (Pamela) is thrilled to be making her Paper Mill debut. First National Tour: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Cynthia Weil). Television: “Pose,” “Murphy Brown.” Other credits include Eurydice (Eurydice), The Full Monty (Georgie), and Uncle Vanya (Yelena). Her original music is available on SoundCloud/erika_olson. Training: Carnegie Mellon University, National Institute of Dramatic Arts (Sydney, Australia).

KYLE TAYLOR PARKER (Gino). Paper Mill debut! Recently seen in the Off-Broadway revival of Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Broadway: Kinky Boots (original cast), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original cast). Television: NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” National Tours: Kinky Boots (IRNE Award for Best Visiting Actor), In the Heights. Regional: Dreamgirls, Hair, Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Off-Broadway: Finian’s Rainbow. Solo Concert: The Soul Session. For info on Kyle’s debut album, To Broadway, with Soul.

CONOR RYAN (Trip) was last seen as Johnny Blood in Desperate Measures at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle nomination for outstanding actor in a musical). Television: “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”on NBC. Broadway: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Off-Broadway: Desperate Measures at York Theatre Company, Keen Company’s revival of John & Jen (with Kate Baldwin), Second Stage’s Invisible Thread, and the Public Theater’s The Fortress of Solitude. Developmental: Charles Bingley in Austen’s Pride (5th Avenue Theatre), Chris McCandless in Into the Wild (The Encore Musical Theatre Company).

JOHN SANDERS (Fallon) most recently appeared in Illyria by Richard Nelson at The Public, and as Ned Ryerson in Broadway’s Groundhog Day. Other Broadway: Matilda (Mr. Wormwood), Peter and the Starcatcher. National Tours: Peter and the Starcatcher (Black Stache), Mamma Mia! (Sam). Off-Broadway: Cloud Nine (Atlantic). Eleven years in Chicago theatre included work at the Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf, Writers’ Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left. Television: “The Blacklist,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Billions,” “Iron Fist,” “Elementary,” “The Following.” Film: No God No Master, Alleged. Video games: Minecraft, Batman.

DANIEL STEWART SHERMAN (The Hammer) Broadway: Kinky Boots, Desire Under the Elms, Cyrano De Bergerac, A Touch of the Poet, Henry IV, The Full Monty. Film: Mr. Popper's Penguins, Boy Wonder, The Taking of Pelham 123, Gigantic, Redacted, Capers, Pretty Bird, Wendigo. TV: "Gun Hill," "The Good Wife," "Mercy," "Justified," "Rubicon," "Life on Mars," "Law & Order." B.F.A. from N.C.S.A.

RICK ELICE (Book).  On Broadway: Jersey Boys (Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Awards for Best Musical), The Addams Family, Peter and the Starcatcher (winner, five Tony Awards), and this season’s The Cher Show. His book, Finding Roger: An Improbably Theatrical Love Story, is published by Kingswell. Rick is happy to be making his Paper Mill debut.

JERRY MITCHELL (Director & Choreographer) received Broadway’s Tony Award for Best Choreography twice—initially for the revival of La Cage aux Folles and more recently for Kinky Boots, for which he was also nominated as director. In addition to Kinky Boots, Jerry is currently represented on Broadway as the director-choreographer of Pretty Woman. Other recent productions include the pre-Broadway productions of Half Time in Chicago and thereafter at Paper Mill Playhouse and, prior to that, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which he also directed and co-produced in the West End and for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for his choreography. In the 35 preceding years, Jerry has been involved with over 50 Broadway, West End, and touring productions, including as choreographer of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Full Monty (Tony nomination); The Rocky Horror Show; Hairspray (Tony nomination, also NBC’s live telecast); Gypsy, Never Gonna Dance (Tony nomination); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination); La Cage aux Folles; Legally Blonde (Tony nomination), which he also directed; Catch Me If You Can; and Kinky Boots; and as director of On Your Feet!: The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan.

LON HOYT (Music Supervisor, Vocals, Arrangements). Broadway: Escape to Margaritaville, On Your Feet!, Hairspray, Hair, Rock of Ages, Catch Me If You Can, Lennon, The Rocky Horror Show, Footloose, Street Corner Symphony. Off Broadway: Song of Singapore, Forever Plaid. Regional: Diner (Sheryl Crow), Some Lovers (Burt Bacharach), The Nightingale (Sheik/Sater). Film: Annie, Hairspray, Joyful Noise, Bandslam, Boys on the Side. Other: Hairspray (NBC live broadcast, national tours, Toronto, Las Vegas, London, Johannesburg, Cologne, Hollywood Bowl), Hair (Hollywood Bowl). Actor: Tommy, Baby, Leader of the Pack, Starlight Express, Rock ’n Roll! The First 5,000 Years.

DAVID ROCKWELL (Scenic Design). Paper Mill Playhouse: Half Time, Hairspray. Broadway: The Hard Problem, The Nap, Pretty Woman, Lobby Hero, She Loves Me (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards), On the Twentieth Century (Tony nomination), You Can’t Take It With You (Tony nomination), Kinky Boots (Tony nomination), Lucky Guy (Tony nomination), Hairspray (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations); upcoming: Tootsie. Off Broadway: the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. Founder and president of Rockwell Group, the architecture firm that recently renovated the Helen Hayes Theater for Second Stage. Honors: AIANY President’s Award, Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, Presidential Design Award.

GREGG BARNES (Costume Design). Broadway: Mean Girls (Tony nomination), Pretty Woman, Tuck Everlasting (Tony nomination), Something Rotten! (Tony nomination), Aladdin, Kinky Boots (Tony  nomination,  Olivier Award), Follies (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award), Elf, Legally Blonde (Tony  nomination), The Drowsy Chaperone (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Award, Olivier nom.), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Flower Drum Song (Tony nomination), Side Show. Other: Dreamgirls (Olivier nomination), Sinatra (Radio City), Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Pageant (Olivier nomination), The Kathy & Mo Show. TDF Young Master Award. Gregg was the resident costume designer at Paper Mill Playhouse from 1989 to 1999 and designed closed to 40 shows within that decade; most recently Half Time.

KENNETH POSNER (Lighting Design) has more than 60 Broadway play and musical credits. He designs extensively Off Broadway and for resident theaters and touring productions throughout the United States as well as internationally. Select Broadway credits: Pretty Woman, Mean Girls, War Paint, Tuck Everlasting, Disgraced, On Your Feet!, If/Then, Kinky Boots, Pippin, Cinderella, Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde, Catch Me If You Can, The Coast of Utopia: Shipwreck, Other Desert Cities, The Merchant of Venice, The Little Foxes, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Finding Neverland, Wicked. Paper Mill: Half Time, Once on This Island. He is the recipient of Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Obie Awards.

ANDREW KEISTER (Sound Design). Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Godspell, Company, Taller Than a Dwarf. As a partner in SCK Sound Design, his Broadway credits include On Your Feet!, Dr. Zhivago, Catch Me If You Can, Jersey Boys, Hairspray, and Mary Poppins. Numerous touring productions, spectaculars, and themed entertainment projects in New York, Las Vegas, London, and other entertainment destinations around the world.

ANDREW LAZAROW (Projection Design). Broadway: Head over Heels, The Terms of My Surrender. Off-Broadway: Privacy (interactive technology consultant), Once upon a Mattress (Hewes Design Award nomination), Brooklynite, House for Sale. Outside of the theater he is a designer at ESI Design, transforming places into experiences through large-scale immersive installations.

JOSH MARQUETTE (Hair & Wig Design). Paper Mill: Half Time. NY/London: The Prom, Pretty Woman, Mean Girls, Present Laughter, Dreamgirls, Paramour, Tuck Everlasting, School of Rock, Something Rotten!, Aladdin, Kinky Boots, The Book of Mormon, Trip of Love, First Date, Elf, Dogfight, The Best Man, Look Back in Anger, The Drowsy Chaperone, Pig Farm, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Altar Boyz, Show Boat (Carnegie Hall), Mamma Mia!; Encores!: The Most Happy Fella and Follies. West Coast: Robin and the 7 Hoods, Peep Show, Minsky’s, Vanities. Television: The Slap, 30 Rock, SNL.

TRIPP PHILLIPS (Production Stage Manager). Broadway: Carousel, War Paint, The Front Page, Finding Neverland, A Gentleman’s Guide…, Macbeth (LCT), Born Yesterday, Lombardi, Finian’s Rainbow, Pal Joey, Passing Strange, The Ritz, 42nd Street, Swing!, Ring Round the Moon, Dream, The King and I, How to Succeed…, A Christmas Carol. National Tours: Memphis, A Christmas Story, Jersey Boys, White Christmas. Tryout: Princesses (5th Avenue, Seattle). Production supervisor of national tours of A Gentleman’s Guide… and 42nd Street. Off-Broadway: The Tin Pan Alley Rag, The Paris Letter, Lone Star Love, Oedipus, Once in a Lifetime. Twelve productions for City Center Encores! Paper Mill: ASM for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1998).

TELSEY + COMPANY (Casting). Broadway/Tours: Beetlejuice; Be More Chill; Network; The Cher Show; The Prom; Torch Song; Pretty Woman; My Fair Lady; Mean Girls; Frozen; Anastasia; Come from Away; Waitress; Hamilton; Kinky Boots; Wicked; Hello, Dolly!; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; On Your Feet!. Off Broadway: Atlantic Theater Company, Classic Stage Company, MCC Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Second Stage Theater. Film: Mary Poppins Returns, Ben Is Back, The Greatest Showman, Into the Woods, Rachel Getting Married. TV: Rent: Live, Murphy Brown, This Is Us, House of Cards, NCIS: New Orleans, One Day at a Time.

Accessibility Performances for My Very Own British Invasion

Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for My Very Own British Invasion on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at 1:30pm and Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 1:30pm. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes.  There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 7:00pm.

Free Audience Enrichment Activities for My Very Own British Invasion

CONVERSATION CLUB: Join us Thursday evenings, January 31, February 7, February 14, and February 21 one hour before curtain for an informal, informative gathering. You'll learn more about the performance you're about to see.

THE DIRECTOR'S VIEWPOINT: One hour before curtain, at 6:30pm, on Wednesday, February 6, we host a pre-show discussion in the Renee Foosaner Art Gallery.

Q&A WITH THE CAST: After the matinee on Saturday, March 2, stick around for a lively Q&A with cast members directly following the performance.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s 80th anniversary season continues in the spring with the East Coast premiere of Benny & Joon (April 4-May 5). Based on the 1993 film which starred Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson, this new musical is a smart, funny, tender-hearted celebration of love: between children and parents; romantic partners; friends; and, most of all, siblings. The final production of the season, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (May 29-June 30), is an international sensation that has played to more than 35 million people in 13 countries. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage production includes all of the original songs from the movie by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, plus additional gems by Menken and Tim Rice.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2016, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. For additional information, please visit www.papermill.org.

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