The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Stephen Eich, Executive Director) announced today that they will present TWIST - An American Musical, based on Charles Dickens' classic Oliver Twist. This heartwarming family musical features a book by Tony Award-nominee William F. Brown (Broadway's The Wiz - Winner of Seven Tony Awards), music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winner Tena Clark (Natalie Cole's Still Unforgettable), and music by Gary Prim (songwriter for Dionne Warwick and CeCe Winans). Golden Globe and multi-Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen (Broadway and the West Ends' Cat on A Hot Tin Roof - 2010 Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play and TV's Fame) is set to direct and choreograph the new musical. TWIST is presented in association with TAM Producing Partners - Skyline Pictures (Michelle Seward), Edgework Productions (Willette Klausner), and GGE Live (Gary Goddard & Forbes Candlish). Performances begin June 14, 2011 and play through July 24, 2011 with the official press opening on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at The Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino).
"I'm very attracted to the strong story, the varied and exciting score, and the emotional pull of this musical. Add to that the imagination and theatricality of Debbie's staging and choreography and you have a recipe for great success," said Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse. "I am especially pleased that The Playhouse will mount a project over the summer months that has tremendous appeal to family audiences, and I am hopeful that many young people - as well as our existing audience - will experience the joy of theatre by seeing TWIST in our beautiful home."
"It was so thrilling during our run in Atlanta where we received standing ovations and now I am so excited to take this next step here at The Pasadena Playhouse. The real joy of doing this work is 'discovery.' I can't wait to get back to the rehearsal room," said director Debbie Allen. "TWIST is the kind of musical that can bring great joy as well as understanding, something we need in America."
TWIST, An American Musical is a timely adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic with a contemporary score, set in New Orleans on the eve of the Great Depression. TWIST tells the story of a young orphan boy born of a courageous white mother and an incredibly talented black father who navigates the colorful and sometimes rough waters of street life and racial indifference in his quest to find his family and to find love.
"We've been very happy with the development of TWIST, from our earlier productions through our most recent staging at The ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta," said producer Willette Klausner. "As we continue our journey to Broadway, we are very excited about the opportunity to work closely with Sheldon Epps, Stephen Eich and their team at the historic Pasadena Playhouse," added producers Michelle Seward and Forbes Candlish.
The cast and additional creative team of TWIST, along with ticket on-sale information, will be announced at a later date.