PCRT Presents a New Musical: Enchanted April

Posted Saturday, March 26th

PCRT Presents New Musical: ENCHANTED APRIL

World Premiere of “A New Musical Romance,” opens April 23
Pleasanton, Calif. – Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre (PCRT) in partnership with the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton present the world premiere of a brand-new musical, a truly exciting development on the Bay Area theater landscape.

Enchanted April, “A New Musical Romance,” was commissioned by West Bay Opera, with script and lyrics by Charles Leipart and musical score and orchestration by Richard B. Evans. It has been work-shopped at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with Broadway actors, and may well be headed to Broadway at this writing.

OPENING NIGHT: Saturday, April 23, 8:00 p.m.  Show runs through May 8. Friday and Saturday, 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees, 2:00 p.m.

Reserved seat tickets are $18-$39, and youth, senior, and group discounts are available.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.firehousearts.org, by phone at (925) 931-4848, or in person at the Firehouse Arts Center Box Office, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton.

Based on the beloved novel, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, the setting is post-Victorian London and Portofino, Italy during the “Jazz Age” of the 1920’s. The witty, insightful storyline and colorful characters, full of heart and humor – make for a fabulous new musical.

Starring Broadway veteran David Bryant (Broadway’s original “Marius” in Les Miserables), Enchanted April is directed by another Broadway veteran and acclaimed Bay Area Director/Actress/Choreographer Lois Grandi, who teams with award-winning Bay Area Music Director Pat Parr for the production. The creative team has been fortunate to collaborate with Leipart and Evans throughout the process.

Synopsis: It’s a cold and rainy, post-war-London in February, 1922. In the London Times, a small classified ad appears: “To those who appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine: To let for the month of April – a medieval castle on the Italian Mediterranean shore.”  Four Londoners respond: Rose – neglected by her husband and hiding a secret desire; Lottie – full of life and a mischievous streak; Lady Caroline – a stunningly beautiful but jaded debutante; and Mrs. Fisher – a widow who believes her glory days are all behind her.

The novel was first published in London in the early 1920s, and has spawned two films (the 1992 version is popular on Netflix, starring Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, Jim Broadbent, Alfred Molina), plus a Broadway stage play which starred Molly Ringwald and Elizabeth Ashley, and earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Play in 2000.

World Premiere: In 2015, PCRT Co-Artistic Director David Judson* met and worked with Enchanted April composer Richard Evans, which lead to discussions around a production opportunity with PCRT.

After securing Lois Grandi to direct, 3 months of casting followed. “We carefully looked across the nation for the right blend of talent that could very well help send the show to Broadway,” notes Judson. “We were thrilled to book David Bryant* in one of the leading roles. He will be originating the role of “Frederick” in our show.”

Also on the bill are nationally recognized actors Christopher Vettel* (national tours of Annie and Sunset Boulevard) and Joy Sherratt* (national tours of Grease, The Wizard of Oz, and Jesus Christ Superstar). Other outstanding regional professionals in the production include two actors originally from Pleasanton: Josselyn O’Neil (“Angela”) and Andrew Mondello (“Beppo”).

Since its inception in 2009, Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization) has had as its goal bringing professional musical theatre to the Tri-Valley area. A significant step along that path was PCRT’s appointment in 2011 as the resident professional musical theatre company at Pleasanton’s newly-renovated Firehouse Arts Center.

PCRT has always distinguished itself via the quality of its shows, with the inclusion of casts composed of professional-level performers with a mix of Actor’s Equity Association and/or long time experienced regional actors, singers and dancers, as well as PCRT’s production teams with some of the Bay Area’s best-known technicians of theatre. Enchanted April is a major milestone in the company’s journey.

[*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers]

The Firehouse Arts Center is dedicated to inspiring passion through the arts.  The center is comprised of the 227-seat Firehouse Theater, the 2000 square foot Harrington Gallery, classrooms and rehearsal space, the grand atrium lobby, and the famous interior glass bridge.  With world-class performing and visual arts, exciting interactive programs for all ages, and a state-of-the-art venue which opened in 2010, we combine the sophistication of the culturally rich Bay Area arts landscape with the hospitality and intimacy of our own home town.  The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Avenue in downtown Pleasanton.  Media:  Jane Onojafe, jonojafe@cityofpleasantonca.gov, or 925-931-4855