Rochester, NY (PRWEB) September 15, 2008
Producers of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, The New Musical announce that Obie Award-winner and Rochester, NY native Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd, Hollywood Arms, By Jeeves) will play the role of Jane Austen in the Broadway-bound musical's one-night-only performance event at Rochester's historic Eastman Theatre on Tuesday, October 21. Champlin joins previously-cast Colin Donnell (Jersey Boys, Follies) as Mr. Darcy.
"How absolutely thrilling, not only to originate this wonderful role at the prestigious Eastman Theatre, but to do so in my hometown for family, teachers and friends - I'm ecstatic," says Champlin, a Greece Athena High School and Hochstein Music School alumna who now has a very successful Broadway career.
Champlin made her Broadway debut in James Joyce's The Dead, followed by the Alan Ayckbourn/Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, By Jeeves, which earned her enthusiastic reviews. National raves for her portrayal of a Carol Burnett in Harold Prince's Hollywood Arms proclaimed her a "show-stopping star in the making." In her most recent Broadway turn, Champlin played "Pirelli" (and accordion, flute and piano) in John Doyle's groundbreaking revival of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. Her performance in William Inge's The Dark At The Top of the Stairs earned her the prestigious 2007 Best Actress OBIE award.
The October 21 event in Rochester is in part a hometown celebration for the musical that was written by two Rochester, NY women, Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs. Although Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, The New Musical is targeting a Broadway opening more than a year later (November of 2009), this concert performance will feature a 17-piece, on-stage orchestra made up of members of the prestigious Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and a 22-member cast from New York.
"As a business woman, the high cost of developing a show made me consider creative alternatives to the traditional out-of-town tryout," explains Producer Lori Bajorek, who's also a Rochesterian. "I realized, after receiving a wonderful response to a small presentation that I put together here back in the spring, that this community is a nurturing, artistic place where I can get the show up and see where it is in its development, without the critical realities of a full production. I'm also thrilled that Rochester is truly excited to get this special 'sneak peek' and to be a part of our journey to Broadway!"
Bajorek optioned the show after it made its World Premiere at The Ohio Light Opera in July of 2006, following a workshop production at Rochester's Eastman School of Music. Since then, she has attracted an enviable list of Broadway veterans to its production team, including noted theatre and film attorney and author Executive Producer Donald C. Farber, Esq., Tony Award-nominated Director Mark Lamos (Our Country's Good, Seascape, The Rivals), Tara Rubin Casting, the Charlotte Wilcox Company, Associate Director Michael McGoff and Musical Director Fred Lassen.
Tickets to the one-night-only event at Eastman Theatre on October 21 at 7:30 p.m. are $35, $45 and $75 (includes a post-performance reception with performers at Max of Eastman Place). They are available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at 875 East Main Street in Rochester, by calling 585-232-1900 or online at http://www.tickemaster.com.
Media please note: High-resolution photographs are available electronically and interviews may be arranged. Please visit http://www.prideandprejudicebroadway.com for more information.