Lori Tan Chinn, Baayork Lee, Paul Shaffer, Denise Burse, Daniel K. Isaac, Tracie Thoms and More Visit GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Lori Tan Chinn and Baayork Lee visit GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER have welcomed many in the Broadway community throughout their run including Lori Tan Chinn, Baayork Lee, Paul Shaffer, André De Shields, Daniel K. Isaac, Denise Burse, Jose Llana, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Marsha Mason, Alex Newell, the kids from SCHOOL OF ROCK, Eric William Morris and his cast members from KING KONG.

Baayork Lee, Garth Kravits, Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Garth Kravits, Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Tony Award winner John Rando and featuring choreography by Chris Bailey, GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER will close on Sunday, September 16 following the evening performance. It will have played 30 previews and 40 performances. Previews began on July 19 and the show opened on August 13. Click here to purchase tickets.

Jay Klaitz, Mitchell Jarvis and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Jay Klaitz, Mitchell Jarvis and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER features original music and lyrics by Mark Allen, a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz, with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. The creative team includes Tony Award winners Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Emily Rebholz (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design) in addition to Music Direction by Sonny Paladino.

Lori Tan Chinn and Baayork Lee visit GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Lori Tan Chinn and Baayork Lee visit GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER features Mitchell Jarvis, Jay Klaitz, Manu Narayan, Paul Whitty, Sawyer Nunes, Marilu Henner, Kelli Barrett, Becca Kötte, Garth Kravits, Tamika Lawrence, Noa Solorio, Brandon Williams, Lindsey Brett Carothers, Ryan Duncan, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Hill, Nehal Joshi, J. Elaine Marcos, Rob Marnell, Jasmin Richardson, Ian Ward, and Tad Wilson.

Lori Tan Chinn and Baayork Lee visit GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Lori Tan Chinn and Baayork Lee visit GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast recently gathered to record the cast album at Power Station and SH-K-BOOM RECORDS will release it later this year.

Mitchell Jarvis, Lori Tan Chinn, Marilu Henner. Photo by Lia Chang
Mitchell Jarvis, Lori Tan Chinn, Marilu Henner. Photo by Lia Chang

Mitch Papadopoulos always wanted to be the next Bruce Springsteen, but he left those daydreams behind for a day job. When this big-shot banker is handed a pink slip on his 40th birthday, he’s forced to move back in with his mom in New Jersey.

Jake Manabat, Raymond J. Lee, Baayork Lee, Garth Kravits, Lori Tan Chinn, Daniel May, J. Elaine Marcos, Yuka Takara, Lia Chang and Jay Klaitz.
Jake Manabat, Raymond J. Lee, Baayork Lee, Garth Kravits, Lori Tan Chinn, Daniel May, J. Elaine Marcos, Yuka Takara, Lia Chang and Jay Klaitz.

A run-in with his former music rival leads to a threat of foreclosure on Mitch’s family home, unless he can win The Battle of the Bands-a rematch over 25 years in the making. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win back his house, his pride-and maybe even the high school sweetheart he left behind-proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

André De Shields visits with the cast and crew of GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields visits with the cast and crew of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits, André De Shields, J. Elaine Marcos and Nehal Joshi. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits, André De Shields, J. Elaine Marcos and Nehal Joshi. Photo by Lia Chang
Mitchell Jarvis, Tracie Thoms, Garth Kravits, Daniel K. Isaac, Talia Thiesfield, Adam Porter Smith, Ryan Duncan. Photo by Lia Chang
Mitchell Jarvis, Tracie Thoms, Garth Kravits, Daniel K. Isaac, Talia Thiesfield, Adam Porter Smith, Ryan Duncan. Photo by Lia Chang

GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Scott Abrams, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, Marie Barton Stevenson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marguerite Hoffman, Diego Kolankowsky, Gary Nelson, Brian Cromwell Smith, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Ladybug Productions, Jim Wagstaffe, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, Sal Buscemi, Douglas K. Atamian, Rich Battista, Frederic J. Siegel, BF Investments, and Sean Attebury. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Paul Shaffer visits with the cast of GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Shaffer visits with the cast of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Duncan, Brandon Williams, Paul Shaffer and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Duncan, Brandon Williams, Paul Shaffer and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Mitchell Jarvis, Sawyer Nunes, Jay Klaitz, Paul Shaffer, Paul Whitty and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang
Mitchell Jarvis, Sawyer Nunes, Jay Klaitz, Paul Shaffer, Paul Whitty and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang
Mike, Justin Rothberg, Kevin Ramessar, Paul Shaffer, Sonny Paladino, Joe Bergamini and Mark. Photo by Lia Chang
Mike, Justin Rothberg, Kevin Ramessar, Paul Shaffer, Sonny Paladino, Joe Bergamini and Mark. Photo by Lia Chang
Cast members from KING KONG and GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Cast members from KING KONG and GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Paul Whitty, Garth Kravits, Mitchell Jarvis, Sarah Saltzberg, Marilu Henner and Kelli Barrett. Photo by Lia Chang
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Paul Whitty, Garth Kravits, Mitchell Jarvis, Sarah Saltzberg, Marilu Henner and Kelli Barrett. Photo by Lia Chang
J. Elaine Marcos, Garth Kravits, Jose Llana, Ryan Duncan, Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Lia Chang
J. Elaine Marcos, Garth Kravits, Jose Llana, Ryan Duncan, Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Lia Chang
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jose Llana and Sarah Saltzberg. Photo by Lia Chang
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jose Llana and Sarah Saltzberg. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Alex Newell, Nehal Joshi and J. Elaine Marcos. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Alex Newell, Nehal Joshi and J. Elaine Marcos. Photo by Lia Chang
Rob Marnell, Nehal Joshi, Lynsey Brett Carothers, Garth Kravits, Noa Solorio, Sawyer Nunes, Tamika Lawrence, Paul Whitty, Kelli Barrett, Mitchell Jarvis, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz, Becca Kotte, Manu Narayan, Brandon Williams, Jasmin Richardson, Tad Wilson, Ryan Duncan, J. Elaine Marcos. Photo by Lia Chang
Rob Marnell, Nehal Joshi, Lynsey Brett Carothers, Garth Kravits, Noa Solorio, Sawyer Nunes, Tamika Lawrence, Paul Whitty, Kelli Barrett, Mitchell Jarvis, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz, Becca Kotte, Manu Narayan, Brandon Williams, Jasmin Richardson, Tad Wilson, Ryan Duncan, J. Elaine Marcos. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside the GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER Opening Night Party with Garth Kravits, Marilu Henner, Mitchell Jarvis, Jay Klaitz, Brandon Williams and More

vox.com: Gettin’ the Band Back Together is a giant musical comedy dad joke. To hate it is to hate joy.

GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER Cast Set to Record Cast Album Today 

Town of Sayreville, NJ Becomes Co-Producer on GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Mitchell Jarvis, Garth Kravits, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz, Brandon Williams and More Kick Off Previews of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER 

Garth Kravits Returns to Broadway in John Rando Helmed GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Brandon Williams, Jay Klaitz, Lia Chang, Daniel K. Isaac and Garth Kravits.
Brandon Williams, Jay Klaitz, Lia Chang, Daniel K. Isaac and Garth Kravits.
Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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Teal Wicks, Daniel K. Isaac and More Set for THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO Album Release Concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below on November 12

Eric William Morris, Daniel K. Isaac, Jane Bruce and Teal Wicks in THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO. Photo by Amanda Crommett

THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO played an acclaimed summer engagement at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, starring Teal Wicks (Wicked, Finding Neverland), Eric William Morris (Be More Chill, Mamma Mia!), Jane Bruce (Elf, The Theory of Relativity), and Daniel K. Isaac (“According to My Mother,” “Billions”). The company also included Cole Burden, Brian Flores, Leenya Rideout, Christopher M. Russo, Perry Sherman, Kristin Stokes, Ian Michael Stuart, and Barbara Tirrell.

Daniel K. Isaac, Teal Wicks, Jane Bruce and Eric William Morris, in THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO. Photo by Amanda Crommett
Daniel K. Isaac, Teal Wicks, Jane Bruce and Eric William Morris, in THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO. Photo by Amanda Crommett

On Sunday, November 12th, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, will present an album release concert featuring members of the cast and band at 9:30 PM. Tickets are $35, include a CD and are available here. Tickets on the day of performance after 4PM are only available by calling 646.476.3551.

Two River Theater's THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO with Teal Wicks & More Gets Original Cast Recording

The Musical Company will release the original cast recording of the celebrated THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO on November 10, 2017. The album is also on Amazon and iTunes For more information on the album’s release, visit here.

THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO by Mike Reid (composer, co-bookwriter), Sarah Schlesinger (lyricist, co-bookwriter), and John Dias (co-bookwriter) is inspired by the real-life-story of Josephine Monaghan, a young woman from late 19th century Boston who made a new life in an Idaho mining town disguised as a man called Jo.

Grammy Award-winning, multi-Platinum songwriter Mike Reid (whose many hits include “I Can’t Make You Love Me”) and Sarah Schlesingertogether have received the Kleban Prize, Richard Rodgers Award, Gilman & Gonzalez Falla Theatre Foundation Award, and Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best Original Musical New Work for THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO.

John Dias, Two River’s Artistic Director, made his Two River directorial debut with this production, which featured choreography by Marc Kimelman.

The album was produced by Sean Patrick Flahaven, CEO of The Musical Company and a producer on over two dozen cast albums for Stephen Sondheim and others, nine of which were Grammy-nominated, including the triple-Platinum, Grammy-winning Hamilton.

The band consists of John O’Neill (conductor/piano) and Martin Agee(violin),Troy Chang (cello), Philip Coiro (drums/percussion), Simon Hutchings(reeds), Justin Rothberg (guitar), and Joseph Wallace (bass).

Prior to the production at Two River Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company produced THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO in 2000 as its first musical. It was subsequently produced at the Bridewell Theatre in London in 2003.

The creative team for Two River Theater’s production of THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO included orchestrator Danny Larsen, music supervisor & vocal arranger Patrick Vaccariello, scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, sound designerDrew Levy, wig designer Leah J. Loukas, and fight director Thomas Schall. The casting was by Jack Doulin + Sharky. The production stage manager was Amanda Michaels and the assistant stage manager was Denise Cardarelli.

The Musical Company has also announced that it represents live stage performance licensing of THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO, available now to professional theatres, with subsequent amateur licensing coming soon.

THE MUSICAL COMPANY provides best-in-class, comprehensive service to creators and producers of musicals, including theatrical licensing, music publishing and cast recording. Our experienced, innovative, client-and customer-focused approach is designed to help bring theatre to a wide audience. Operating from our headquarters in New York, with offices in London and Los Angeles, we’re owned by two industry-leading, independent and like-minded music companies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group and Concord Music. Visit themusicalcompany.com.

Since its founding in 1994, TWO RIVER THEATER has been committed to creating great American theater by developing and producing work by some of the country’s leading artists. We are proud to be viewed as a vital cultural resource in the community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Through 10 theatrical productions each year (including world premieres, musicals, classics and theater for young audiences) and 50+ annual events, we produce exceptional theater and cultivate engaged audiences. TWO RIVER THEATER is under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst. For more information, go to tworivertheater.org.

FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW, Broadway’s Supper Club & Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage. Located at 254 West 54th Street, FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW features up to three shows nightly with cover charges ranging from $5-$105.

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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Jane Bruce, Daniel K. Isaac, Eric William Morris, Teal Wicks and More in THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO at Two River Theater, Opens June 9

Daniel K. Isaac, Teal Wicks, Jane Bruce and Eric William Morris, in THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO. Photo by Amanda Crommett
Eric William Morris, Daniel K. Isaac, Jane Bruce and Teal Wicks in THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO. Photo by Amanda Crommett
Eric William Morris, Daniel K. Isaac, Jane Bruce and Teal Wicks in THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO. Photo by Amanda Crommett

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, concludes its 2016/17 Season with The Ballad of Little Jo, a musical by Mike Reid (composer, co-bookwriter), Sarah Schlesinger (lyricist, co-bookwriter), and John Dias (co-bookwriter). Dias, the theater’s Artistic Director, is also making his Two River directorial debut with this production. The choreography is by Marc Kimelman, with music direction and dance and incidental arrangements by John O’Neill. The Ballad of Little Jo is based on the film of the same name by Maggie Greenwald.

Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, June 3 and continue through Sunday, June 25. The opening night performance is Friday, June 9 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The production is supported by The Roy Cockrum Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The lead production sponsor is Monmouth University.

The score, which evokes the folk ballads of pioneer America, is by Grammy Award-winning Nashville songwriter Mike Reid (whose many hits include “I Can’t Make You Love Me”) and lyricist Sarah Schlesinger. Together, Reid and Schlesinger have received the Kleban Prize, Richard Rodgers Award, Gilman & Gonzalez Falla Theatre Foundation Award, and Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best Original Musical.

Set in the late 19th century, The Ballad of Little Jo is inspired by the remarkable real-life story of a woman named Josephine Monaghan. Originally from Boston, Josephine lived in a tough Idaho mining town for nearly 20 years, disguised as a man called “Jo.”

The Ballad of Little Jo features Jane Bruce (Elf, Missed Connections: A Craigslist Musical) as Sara Stewart Ellis, Daniel K. Isaac (“According to My Mother,” “Billions”) as Tin Man Wong, Eric William Morris (Be More Chill, Mamma Mia!) as Jordan Ellis, and Teal Wicks (Wicked, Finding Neverland) as Josephine Monaghan/Jo Monaghan.

Daniel K. Isaac Talks “Billions” and “According to My Mother” Screenings at Outfest and CAAMfest 

The company also includes Cole Burden, Brian Flores, Leenya Rideout, Christopher Russo, Perry Sherman, Kristin Stokes, Ian Michael Stuart, and Barbara Tirrell.

The band consists of John O’Neill (conductor/piano) and Pauline Bradshaw (violin), Troy Chang (cello), Philip Coiro (drums/percussion), Simon Hutchings (reeds), Justin Rothberg (guitar), and Joseph Wallace (bass).

The creative team for The Ballad of Little Jo includes music supervisor Patrick Vaccariello, orchestrator Danny Larsen, scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, sound designer Drew Levy, wig designer Leah J. Loukas, and fight director Thomas Schall. The casting is by Jack Doulin + Sharky. The production stage manager is Amanda Michaels and the assistant stage manager is Denise Cardarelli.

The Ballad of Little Jo had its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2000, in a production that prompted John Lahr to call it “the best piece of musical storytelling I have seen in a decade” in The New Yorker. But Lahr also called it “unfinished.” It was presented at the Bridewell Theatre in London in 2003 and had a reading at The Public Theater in 2008. Subsequent to becoming Two River’s Artistic Director in 2010, John Dias joined the creative team as co-bookwriter and director, and has been helping to further develop the piece through workshops and readings.

“The Ballad of Little Jo is a beautiful musical that I watched take shape even before its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago,” says Dias. “It represents something that, to my mind, is vastly underserved in the American theater: there are many great new works that have had a first production, but are worthy of further attention and additional cultivation. Two River Theater and Red Bank audiences have embraced Mike and Sarah since we premiered their chamber musical In This House in 2012, and we have been developing Little Jo since then.”

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets is available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Book Club: True Grit by Charles Portis
Monday, June 19 at 6:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library
Literary Manager Anika Chapin will lead a discussion of True Grit by Charles Portis, the story of a young girl in the American West. In conjunction with The Ballad of Little Jo, the Two River Book Club will discuss the Western as a genre, the changing portrayal of men and women, and the dangerous allure of the frontier in art and life. This event is free and open to the public. To reserve a spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.

Audience Extras:
Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about The Ballad of Little Jo in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with members of the cast and a member of Two River Theater’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Wednesday, June 14 at 7pm; Sunday, June 18 at 3pm; and Wednesday, June 21 at 1pm.

Accessibility:
Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, June 24 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, produces American and world masterpieces, and new plays and musicals. Two River Theater offers new-play commissions and artistic development activities that support the most adventurous artists in the American theater, and cultivates a new generation of theatergoers through innovative arts education programs that introduce young people to the theater and create opportunities for them to engage with renowned theater artists. Two River Theater was founded by Joan and Robert Rechnitz in 1994. Visit tworivertheater.org for more.

Jane Bruce, Daniel K. Isaac, Eric William Morris, Teal Wicks and More Set for THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO at Two River Theater, June 3-25

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, concludes its 2016/17 Season with The Ballad of Little Jo, a musical by Mike Reid (composer, co-bookwriter), Sarah Schlesinger (lyricist, co-bookwriter), and John Dias (co-bookwriter). Dias, the theater’s Artistic Director, is also making his Two River directorial debut with this production. The choreography is by Marc Kimelman, with music direction and dance and incidental arrangements by John O’Neill. The Ballad of Little Jo is based on the film of the same name by Maggie Greenwald.

Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, June 3 and continue through Sunday, June 25. The opening night performance is Friday, June 9 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The production is supported by The Roy Cockrum Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The lead production sponsor is Monmouth University.

The score, which evokes the folk ballads of pioneer America, is by Grammy Award-winning Nashville songwriter Mike Reid (whose many hits include “I Can’t Make You Love Me”) and lyricist Sarah Schlesinger. Together, Reid and Schlesinger have received the Kleban Prize, Richard Rodgers Award, Gilman & Gonzalez Falla Theatre Foundation Award, and Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best Original Musical.

Set in the late 19th century, The Ballad of Little Jo is inspired by the remarkable real-life story of a woman named Josephine Monaghan. Originally from Boston, Josephine lived in a tough Idaho mining town for nearly 20 years, disguised as a man called “Jo.”

The Ballad of Little Jo will feature Jane Bruce (Elf, Missed Connections: A Craigslist Musical) as Sara Stewart Ellis, Daniel K. Isaac (“According to My Mother,” “Billions”) as Tin Man Wong, Eric William Morris (Be More Chill, Mamma Mia!) as Jordan Ellis, and Teal Wicks (Wicked, Finding Neverland) as Josephine Monaghan/Jo Monaghan.

Daniel K. Isaac Talks “Billions” and “According to My Mother” Screenings at Outfest and CAAMfest 

The company also includes Cole Burden, Brian Flores, Leenya Rideout, Christopher Russo, Perry Sherman, Kristin Stokes, Ian Michael Stuart, and Barbara Tirrell.

The band will consist of John O’Neill (conductor/piano) and Pauline Bradshaw (violin), Troy Chang (cello), Philip Coiro (drums/percussion), Simon Hutchings (reeds), Justin Rothberg (guitar), and Joseph Wallace (bass).

The creative team for The Ballad of Little Jo includes music supervisor Patrick Vaccariello, orchestrator Danny Larsen, scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, sound designer Drew Levy, wig designer Leah J. Loukas, and fight director Thomas Schall. The casting is by Jack Doulin + Sharky. The production stage manager is Amanda Michaels and the assistant stage manager is Denise Cardarelli.

The Ballad of Little Jo had its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2000, in a production that prompted John Lahr to call it “the best piece of musical storytelling I have seen in a decade” in The New Yorker. But Lahr also called it “unfinished.” It was presented at the Bridewell Theatre in London in 2003 and had a reading at The Public Theater in 2008. Subsequent to becoming Two River’s Artistic Director in 2010, John Dias joined the creative team as co-bookwriter and director, and has been helping to further develop the piece through workshops and readings.

“The Ballad of Little Jo is a beautiful musical that I watched take shape even before its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago,” says Dias. “It represents something that, to my mind, is vastly underserved in the American theater: there are many great new works that have had a first production, but are worthy of further attention and additional cultivation. Two River Theater and Red Bank audiences have embraced Mike and Sarah since we premiered their chamber musical In This House in 2012, and we have been developing Little Jo since then.”

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets is available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River:
Film Screening: The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) – From Screen to Stage
Friday, May 5 at 7pm in the Rechnitz Theater
Two River will screen Maggie Greenwald’s 1993 film The Ballad of Little Jo, free and open to the public. Members of the musical’s creative team will introduce the film and discuss how they translated the story from screen to stage. To reserve a spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.

Open Rehearsal
Tuesday, May 9 at 7pm in the Rechnitz Theater
Audiences are invited to join Two River Theater to watch an open rehearsal in the Rechnitz Theater with director John Dias and members of the cast as they work on select scenes and songs from the production. The rehearsal will include a short Q&A session, and will be followed by dessert and coffee in the lobby. To reserve a spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.

TEDxNavesink Conference: “Identity”
Saturday, May 20 from 9am-5pm at the Paramount Theatre on the Boardwalk at Asbury Park
John Dias will introduce the song “Unbuttoning the Buttons” from The Ballad of Little Jo at this year’s annual TEDxNavesink Conference, which is exploring the theme of Identity. TEDxNavesink is offering a 20% per ticket discount to the all-day conference for Two River Theater patrons, members, colleagues, and their families. For information or to purchase tickets, patrons should visit http://tedxnavesink.com/ and use the code TRTheaterTEDx17.

Book Club: True Grit by Charles Portis
Monday, June 19 at 6:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library
Literary Manager Anika Chapin will lead a discussion of True Grit by Charles Portis, the story of a young girl in the American West. In conjunction with The Ballad of Little Jo, the Two River Book Club will discuss the Western as a genre, the changing portrayal of men and women, and the dangerous allure of the frontier in art and life. This event is free and open to the public. To reserve a spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.

Audience Extras:
Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about The Ballad of Little Jo in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with members of the cast and a member of Two River Theater’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Wednesday, June 14 at 7pm; Sunday, June 18 at 3pm; and Wednesday, June 21 at 1pm.

Accessibility:
Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, June 24 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, produces American and world masterpieces, and new plays and musicals. Two River Theater offers new-play commissions and artistic development activities that support the most adventurous artists in the American theater, and cultivates a new generation of theatergoers through innovative arts education programs that introduce young people to the theater and create opportunities for them to engage with renowned theater artists. Two River Theater was founded by Joan and Robert Rechnitz in 1994. Visit tworivertheater.org for more.