Thursday, March 3, 2016

Get Pumpin With Great Cast, Creative Team!

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is proud to announce casting for its spring musical, Pump Boys and Dinettes. 

This Tony Award nominee features James Barry (Jim), Gabe Bowling (Jackson), Julie Foldesi (Prudie), Jason Ostrowski (L.M.), Alysha Umphress (Rhetta) and Sam Weber (Eddie).  Pump Boys and Dinettes is conceived and written by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann. Pump Boys and Dinettes will be directed by John Foley with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter. Pump Boys and Dinettes will run eight times a week at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from April 6 through May 1, 2016. The official press opening night is Sunday, April 10, at 7:00pm. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2015-2016 Season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Pump Boys and Dinettes premiered off Broadway in 1981 and moved to Broadway in 1982 where it garnered Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Musical. After the musical’s successful Broadway run, it transferred to London’s West End. Pump Boys and Dinettes had a record-breaking five year run at Chicago’s Apollo Theater. Most recently, the show was revived at New York City Center as part of the Encores! Off-Center series.

Pump Boys and Dinettes is a musical full of joy‚ a little bit of heartbreak‚ and lots of hilarity. This visionary tribute to life by the roadside takes place on North Carolina’s Highway 57. Somewhere between Frog Level and Smyrna stands a rest stop. The four hardworking fellas at the gas station have been known to do some auto repairs‚ but only when aided by some great tunes and a few beers. Next door there’s the Double Cupp Diner‚ where the Cupp sisters offer up their famous home cooking and gift for song. This musical is a celebration of life‚ love‚ Dolly Parton‚ and catfish!

Pump Boys and Dinettes 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 $32. 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 Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680.  College students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

“I’ve been a part of the Pump Boys and Dinettes family for over 40 years, so I’m thrilled to revisit the musical with this top-notch cast and creative team at Paper Mill Playhouse,” commented director and co-creator John Foley. “Pump Boys and Dinettes has a big heart, and all audiences can relate to the show’s universal themes in some way.”

James Barry (Jim) was seen on Broadway in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Mr. Barry appeared in the national tour of Million Dollar Quartet as Carl Perkins. Mr. Barry recently appeared off-Broadway in These Paper Bullets.

Gabe Bowling (Jackson) was seen on tour in Million Dollar Quartet. Mr. Bowling appeared off-Broadway in My Big Gay Italian Wedding.

Julie Foldesi (Prudie) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where she was last seen in Newsies. On Broadway, Ms. Foldesi was seen in Newsies, South Pacific, Little Women and The Full Monty.

Jason Ostrowski (L.M.) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he was last seen in the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables. Mr. Ostrowski was seen on Broadway in Company.

Alysha Umphress (Rhetta) recently appeared on Broadway as Hildy in On the Town. On Broadway, Ms. Umphress was also seen in Bring It On!, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, American Idiot and more. Some of Ms. Umphress’s television credits include Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains and Law and Order: SVU.

Sam Weber (Eddie), a resident of Bloomfield, New Jersey, was seen on tour in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and Dinosaur Zoo. Some of Mr. Weber’s regional credits include Million Dollar Quartet, Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof and more.

John Foley (Director and Music Director) has directed and musical-directed Pump Boys and Dinettes several times, in theaters from New England to the Ozarks. Mr. Foley has also performed in Hank Williams: Lost Highway; Ring of Fire; Smoke on the Mountain; Diamond Studs and more. When not playing and performing, Mr. Foley teaches on the North Shore of Chicago.

JoAnn M. Hunter (Choreographer) is back at Paper Mill Playhouse after previously choreographing Curtains, Oliver! and Grease. Ms. Hunter choreographed the world premiere of The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis (Broadway World Award, Best Choreography). On Broadway, Ms. Hunter choreographed School of Rock, Disaster! and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and she performed in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Kiss Me, Kate, Chicago and more.

The Pump Boys and Dinettes design team includes:

Michael Schweikardt (Scenic Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he last designed sets for Thoroughly Modern Millie. Mr. Schweikardt has designed sets for many musicals including Carousel, Show Boat, 1776, Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot and more. 

Brian Hemesath (Costume Design) designed costumes for Honeymoon in Vegas at Paper Mill Playhouse and on Broadway. Mr. Hemesath also designed costumes for Sesame Street on PBS and Saturday Night Live.

F. Mitchell Dana (Lighting Design) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he has served as lighting designer for many shows including A Christmas Story: The Musical, Boeing-Boeing, Guys and Dolls, The King and I and more. Mr. Dana served as lighting designer for Broadway productions of Oh Coward!, Mass Appeal, Once in a Lifetime and more.

Randy Hansen (Sound Design) has designed sound for more than 130 musicals and 40 plays. Mr. Hansen has many memorable moments working with opera star Jessye Norman, the Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Jodi Mancuso (Hair & Wig Design) worked on Broadway with Cyrano, Show Boat, and Titanic. Jodi has been working at Saturday Night Live since 2002 and has been the key hairstylist for many years. She has eight Emmy nominations and five wins.

Telsey + Company (Casting) is an award-winning organization of casting professionals in New York City with local, regional, national and international clientele including Broadway and touring companies of Waitress, If/Then, The King and I, Motown, Kinky Boots, Finding Neverland, Honeymoon in Vegas, Rock of Ages and Wicked. The lead casting director on this project is Cesar A. Rocha, CSA.

Gary Mickelson (Production Stage Manager) recently stage managed A Christmas Story: The Musical at Paper Mill Playhouse. On Broadway, Mr. Mickelson stage managed First Date, Memphis, Gypsy, Company, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, The Lion in Winter and Victor/Victoria.  

Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances of Pump Boys and Dinettes on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, at 1:30 pm. 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, May 1, at 7 pm. 

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, 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. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.   

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