Rubicon Theatre Company continues its 2011-2012 Season of "Magic, Mystery and Music" with the World Premiere of Hello! My Baby, a new tuner from the pen of Cheri Steinkellner, the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning writer of "Cheers" and a Tony nominee for Sister Act: The Musical.
Set in the early part of the last century on the sidewalks of New York, the story follows Mickey McKee, King of the Song-Pluggers, who dreams of writing the next Tin Pan Alley million-selling hit song. Only problem is Mickey can't write a note – until he meets Nelly Gold, a factory worker with a talent for tunes and moxie to spare. Mickey and Nelly make beautiful music together until she puts on the trousers she once sewed, calls herself Ned, and becomes the new King of the Pluggers and Mickey's arch-rival. These mismatched young lovers and their unlikely friends sing, dance, bicker, and coo from Debutante Balls to Delancey Street, confronting class struggles, social reform, gender-swapping, street-thugs, and a whole lot of ukuleles.
Check out the production photos below!
Dubbed a "new-fashioned musical romance," HELLO! MY BABY both embraces and gently satirizes Broadway and movie musicals, rebooting the songs of Berlin, Gershwin, Kern, and a score of others, smartly weaving these updated hits into a fresh and funny farce for all ages.
HELLO! MY BABY is directed by Rubicon's Associate Producer BRIan McDonald, who has helmed the company's mainstage productions of Bus Stop and "Master Harold"…and the boys (both Ovation nominees for Best Play, Larger Theatre). The 22-member cast is lead by young up-and-comers Ciarán McCarthy and Evie Hutton. McCarthy, a Dubliner who trained at AMDA in New York, plays the cocky and charismatic Irish immigrant Mickey McKee. McCarthy appeared in the National Tour of The Wedding Singer and has worked with Musical Theatre West and MTG since moving to the L.A. area.
Hutton, recently returned to L.A. from the National Tour of Hairspray, plays plucky Nellie Gold, a young Jewish factory worker who struggles to bring in the money needed to pay rent on the Lower East Side tavern which is home for Nellie and her orphaned sisters.
The role of Nellie's older sister Francis is played by Jordan Kai Burnett (National Tour of Seussical) and McKENNA KYLIE TEDRICK, a Ventura middle school student, plays the precocious, outspoKen Younger sister Violet.
George Ball of Ojai (Broadway and Off Broadway productions of Jacques Brel… in New York and at Rubicon, leads at Goodspeed, Paper Mill Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum and The Old Globe), plays antagonist Stanford Tierney, an ambitious industrialist with a soft spot for his grandchildren Junior (Will Sevedge, a recent graduate of The Hartt School) and Alice (LILLI BABB, an Agoura Hills high school senior who has appeared onstage and in the HBO shows "Six Feet Under" and "Carnivale").
Other H!MB veteran actors are George Wendt and Kristine Zbornik, who provide comic relief as song publishers Bert and Ethel Coots. WENDT, best known for his multi-Emmy-nominated role as Norm on "Cheers," has extensive stage credits, having appeared on Broadway as Edna in Hairspray and Yvan in Art. Zbornik, a New York resident, appeared in A Catered Affair on Broadway, as Roz in the First National Tour of 9 to 5 and as Rosie in Mama Mia in Las Vegas.
Harley Jay (a pop singer who played Mark in Rent on Broadway and appeared in National Tours of Rent and Miss Saigon) makes his Rubicon debut as Johnny Giovanni, the rhyming ringleader of an inept group of street thugs. Johnny's sidekicks Kid Vicious and Dickie the Duck are played by Ventura native Zach Johnson and Erick Paul (a.k.a. Spider), an Orange County resident. Johnson is a Buena graduate who continued his studies at GSA Conservatoire in Southwest England and has performed with Nickelodeon and Broadway Across America. Paul is a hip-hop artist whose credits include Stomp the Yard, Cirque du Soleil: The Immortal and The Young Americans.
Ixchel Lopez, an Oxnard resident who graduated from AMDA, makes her Rubicon stage debut in HELLO! MY BABY as Marie, a simple girl from the old country.
TAD MURROUGHS of Santa Barbara and JACOB MATTISON of Orange County play the Coots' repressed twin sons Albie and Artie. Murroughs graduated from San Marcos as Outstanding Vocalist and studies voice with David Potter. He has extensive theatre credits (most recently Lee in 1776). Mattison's recent credits include The Young Americans and roles in Brigadoon and My Fair Lady at Orange County (the latter with Susan Egan and Hugh Panero).
Santa Barbara resident RICH HOAG (a five-time Indy Award-winner who tours with his one-man show Will Rogers' America) plays multiple roles in the production.
Other cast members are Jeremy Lucas (Dance Captain), Allison Paraiso, Teya Patt, Neil Starkenberg, LAURYN TILLERY and CARLY WIELSTEIN
The creative team for HELLO! MY BABY includes LLOYD COOPER (Musical Director), Lee Martino (Choreographer), Craig Safan (Arranger/Orchestrator), BRIAN P. KENNEDY (Associate Musical Director/Copyist), William Keeler (Dramaturge), THOMAS S. GIAMARIO (Set Design), Jeremy Pivnick (Lighting Design), Marcy Froehlich (Costumes), Jonathan Burke (Sound Designer) and T. THERESA SCARANO (Set Dressing and Props). LINDA M. TROSS and KATHLEEN J. PARSONS are Stage Managers.
HELLO! MY BABY opens Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. and continues through April 15 at Rubicon's home in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District, 1006 E. Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001. Low-priced previews are scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, March 22 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. Following the opening gala on the 24th, the regular performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Thursdays at 8:00 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Talkbacks with the actors and director will be held after the 7:00 p.m. Wednesday performances on March 28 and April 4. Ticket prices range from $35 to $64, and may be purchased in person through the Rubicon Theatre Company BOX OFFICE, located at 1006 E. Main Street (Laurel entrance), or online at www.rubicontheatre.org. Twenty-four-hour-a-day ticketing is available online, thanks to a grant from the IRVINE FOUNDATION's Regional Arts Initiative. To charge by phone, call (805) 667-2900.
Following the run in Ventura, HELLO! MY BABY will be reprised in Santa Barbara as Rubicon makes its very first foray to the historic 680-seat Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 for performances May 4 through 6, 2012. Tickets may be purchased through the Lobero website (www.lobero.com) or by calling (805) 963-0761.
Photo Credit: Ed Krieger