Kate Baldwin, Bryce Pinkham, Thom Sesma, Julia Abueva and More Set for John Logan and Tom Kitt’s SUPERHERO at Second Stage

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Continuing its 40th Anniversary Season, Second Stage Theater has announced complete casting for the world premiere musical, Superhero. Directed by Jason Moore, the production features a book by John Logan and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt.

Julia Abueva (Rachel), JAKE LEVY (Dwayne), Salena Qureshi (Vee), Thom Sesma (Vic) and Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton) will join previously announced stars Kate Baldwin (Charlotte), Bryce Pinkham (Jim) and newcomer Kyle McArthur (Simon).

SUPERHERO will begin previews January 31, 2019 at the Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street) and will officially open on February 28, 2019. Subscriptions are available now starting at $255 by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422.

Before we can save the world, we have to save each other. From the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Next to Normal and the Tony Award-winning writer of Red comes a deeply human new musical about a fractured family, the mysterious stranger in apartment 4-B, and the unexpected hero who just might save the day.

BIOGRAPHIES

Julia Abueva (Rachel) made her New York stage debut in the critically acclaimed production of KPOP at Ars Nova. West End: Miss Saigon (Kim u/s). Other stage credits include: Cinderella (Newport Performing Arts Theater); Singapore premieres of Next to Normal(Natalie) and Spring Awakening (Wendla); Manila premieres of Into the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood) and Aspects of Love (Young Jenny); and Philippine Repertory’s production of The Fantasticks (Luisa). Julia co-starred in the Amazon comedy pilot “Making Friends.” Upcoming film: Stella’s Last Weekend (opp. Nat Wolff).

Kate Baldwin (Charlotte) recently appeared in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! for which she received Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Other Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow (Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nominations), Big Fish, Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Full Monty. Off-Broadway, she received Drama Desk nominations for her work in The Keen Company’s production of John & Jen and The Public Theatre’s production of Michael John LaChuisa’s Giant. Also off-Broadway: Songbird at 59E59 Street Theaters. Film: Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best. TV: “Law & Order: SVU”. PBS: “First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb” and “Live From Lincoln Center: Stephen Sondheim’s Passion.” Concerts: Chicago Humanities Festival, NSO, PSO and the American Songbook Series. Recording: Let’s See What Happens and She Loves Him: Live at Feinstein’s (PS Classics).

JAKE LEVY (Dwayne) is thrilled to make his Second Stage Theater debut. He earned his BA from the UCLA Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program in 2018. Favorites: Carrie (Tommy Ross), Carousel (Jigger), Pippin (Pippin) and Dogfight (Fector). Regional: 13 The Musical, Rent, Les Misérables and Hairspray. @Jlevy31

Kyle McArthur (Simon) will be making his professional theatrical debut with this production after playing Simon in the O’Neill NMTC reading of Superhero. Other readings include Disney’s Freaky Friday (Adam), Rapture (Andy), Stuck (Rayce), and The America Project (Cam).

Bryce Pinkham (Jim) is most widely known for originating the role of ‘Monty Navarro’ in the Tony Winning Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, for which he was nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk awards. He soon after appeared in the Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in 2015. His other Broadway credits include Holiday Inn, Ghost the Musical, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He most recently starred in Benny and Joon, a new musical adaptation of the 1993 movie starring Johnny Depp at The Old Globe Theater. His latest onscreen appearances include Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down, Robert De Niro’s The Comedian, and as a series regular on PBS’s Civil War drama series Mercy Street. His other TV credits include Blindspot, The Good Wife and Person of Interest.

Salena Qureshi (Vee). Second Stage debut! Film: Draupadi Unleashed, My Cousin Sister’s Wedding, All These Small Moments (Tribeca FF), Friends and Romans. TV: Recurring on “Madam Secretary” (CBS). Also seen on “The Brave” (NBC), “The Path” (Hulu), “Girls” (HBO). Theater: Evita (Mistress, Maine State).

Thom Sesma (Vic) recently appeared as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in the off-Broadway revival at Barrow Street Theatre. He was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for his portrayal of roles in John Doyle’s acclaimed 2017 revival of another Sondheim classic, Pacific Overtures. Broadway credits include The Times They Are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Search and Destroy, Chu Chem, and national tours of The Lion King, Miss Saigon and Titanic. Other appearances off-Broadway: Discord (Primary Stages), Awake and Sing! (NAATCO/Public Theatre), Othello (Public Theatre), Cymbeline (NYSF). Regional credits include the McCarter, Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Signature Theatre, Centre Stage, Music Theatre Wichita and more. Television guest appearances include “Instinct,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Gotham,” “Jessica Jones,” “Person of Interest” and others. Previous credits at Second Stage: Eric Overmyer’s In a Pig’s Valise and Baba Goya by Steve Tesich, both in 1989. Instagram @thsesma; Twitter @ThomSesmaNYC.

Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton). Broadway: Cats, The Color Purple (original and revival), The Lion King, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Off-Broadway: Big Love, Signature Theatre; Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, NY City Center’s Encores!; The First Noel, Classical Theatre of Harlem. Regional: Lempicka, Williamstown Theatre Festival; Man of La Mancha (Jeff Award), The Bridges of Madison County (Jeff nomination), Ragtime, Marriott Theatre; Hatuey: Memory of Fire, Music-Theatre Group. Concerts: Candide(Carnegie Hall); West Side Story, Bernstein’s MASS (Philadelphia Orchestra). Ten Chimneys Fellow, UW-Madison alum.nathanielstampley.com

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Arena Stage’s World Premiere of DAVE opens July 27

The company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Arena Stage is presenting the world premiere of Dave by Thomas Meehan, Nell Benjamin and Tom Kitt through August 19, 2018 in the Kreeger Theater. Opening night is July 27. Click here for tickets.

Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Drew Gehling and the company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Dave is inspired by the Academy Award-nominated American political comedy film. Helmed by Tony Award nominee Tina Landau, Dave features choreography by Tony Award nominee Sam Pinkleton and music direction by Rob Berman. Dave tells the story of high school teacher (and presidential lookalike) Dave Kovic, who is hired by the Secret Service as a stand-in for the Commander-in-Chief. When the President falls ill under less than “presidential” circumstances, Dave is thrust into the Oval Office to avoid a national scandal, and must find a way to gain the trust and love of the American people…and the First Lady.

Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Drew Gehling stars as President Bill Mitchell and the title role of Dave with Mamie Parris (Broadway’s Cats, School of Rock) as First Lady Ellen Mitchell, Douglas Sills as Chief of Staff Bob Alexander, Josh Breckenridge (Broadway’s Come From Away), Rachel Flynn (Off-Broadway’s Heathers the Musical), Bryonha Marie Parham (Broadway’s Prince of Broadway) and Jonathan Rayson (Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors).

Drew Gehling, Bryonha Marie Parham, and Douglas Sills. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Drew Gehling, Bryonha Marie Parham, and Douglas Sills. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

While Mr. Sills recovers from minor unexpected surgery, Dave cast member Jared Bradshaw will step into the role of Bob Alexander.

Mamie Parris and Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Mamie Parris and Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Rounding out the company are Jenny Ashman (Kansas City Repertory’s Evita), Jared Bradshaw (Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Dana Costello (Jekyll and Hyde national tour), Trista Dollison (Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Sherri L. Edelen (Arena Stage’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Kevin R. Free (The Neo-Futurists’ Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind), Erin Quill (Broadway’s Avenue Q), Jamison Scott (Broadway’s Motown the Musical), Thomas Adrian Simpson (Arena Stage’s A Raisin in the Sun and Carousel)  and Vishal Vaidya (Broadway’s Groundhog Day).

The company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
The company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

The creative team for Dave also includes scenic design by Tony Award nominee Dane Laffrey; costume design by two-time Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James; lighting design by five-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman; sound design by Tony Award nominee Walter Trarbach; projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini; and casting by Telsey + Company/Patrick Goodwin, CSA.

Click here for full company bios.

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Ethan Slater, Gavin Lee, Lilli Cooper and Danny Skinner Set for Broadway’s SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS at the Palace Theatre This Fall

Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater in The SpongeBob Musical Photograph: Joan Marcus

Following a critically lauded run in Chicago during Summer 2016, SpongeBob SquarePants will open on Broadway at The Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway – Broadway at 47th Street) this Fall. Preview performances begin Monday, November 6th with an official opening on Monday, December 4th.

Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater in The SpongeBob Musical Photograph: Joan Marcus
Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater in The SpongeBob Musical
Photograph: Joan Marcus
Gavin Lee, Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper and Danny Skinner
Gavin Lee, Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper and Danny Skinner

SpongeBob SquarePants cast will include Ethan Slater as SpongeBob SquarePants, Gavin Lee as Squidward, Lilli Cooper as Sandy Cheeks and Danny Skinner as Patrick.

The full cast will be announced at a later date.

A legendary roster of Grammy Award winners. A visionary director and Tony Award®-winning design team. One of the world’s most beloved and unforgettable characters. Turn them all loose on Broadway and what do you get? SpongeBob SquarePants!

Acclaimed Steppenwolf director Tina Landau and the groundbreaking designers behind Fun Home, Hedwig, and Spring Awakening have brilliantly reimagined Bikini Bottom for the Broadway stage, bringing the spirit of SpongeBob to life with humanity, heart, and pure theatricality. With an original score from some of the biggest names in pop and rock,SpongeBob SquarePants explodes with energy.

Stakes are higher than ever before as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage.

SpongeBob SquarePants is a musical production conceived and directed by Tina Landau, book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations, arrangements & music supervision by Tom Kitt, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli.

SpongeBob SquarePants is a one-of-a-kind musical event with original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of AEROSMITH, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and a song by David Bowie. With additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton.

The design team includes scenic and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Kevin Adams, projection design by Peter Nigrini, sound design by Walter Trarbach, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe and casting by Telsey + Company/Patrick Goodwin, CSA.

Nickelodeon and Sony Masterworks Broadway have recorded the cast album of SpongeBob SquarePants and will announce its release shortly.

SpongeBob SquarePants will be produced by Nickelodeon with The Araca Group, Sony Music Masterworks and Kelp on the Road.

Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as a pop culture phenomenon. The series has been the most-watched animated program with kids 2-11 for more than 15 consecutive years, and over the past several years, it has averaged more than 100,000,000 total viewers every quarter across all Nickelodeon networks. SpongeBob SquarePants is the most widely distributed property in Viacom history, seen in more than 208 countries and territories and translated in 55+ languages. Paramount Pictures’ second feature film based on the property, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, in 2015 at #1 opening weekend. A third feature has been announced for 2019, timed to the series’ landmark 20th anniversary. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurably optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends.

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