The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) and Andy Sandberg (Hair) present The Last Smoker in America with Book & Lyrics by Bill Russell (Side Show, Tony Award Nominee), and Music by Peter Melnick (Adrift in Macao, Drama Desk Nominee).
Directed by Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall), with music direction by Fred Lassen (South Pacific) and choreography by Matt Williams (Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America), the four-member cast includes Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q) as Phyllis, Felicia Finley (The Wedding Singer) as Pam, Marcus Neville (The Full Monty) as Ernie, Alex Wyse (Mrs. Sharp) as Jimmy, and, in a cameo role, featuring the Voice of Tony Award-winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal) as Asphyxia.
The limited 8-performance engagement begins tonight Monday, October 12, 2009 and will continue through Sunday, October 18, 2009 at the 45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street).
The Last Smoker in America is an original, four-character musical comedy about a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in a world where smoking has recently been outlawed. Pam, an English lit professor at a small college, is having an impossible time trying to quit smoking. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he's convinced he's black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?
The creative team includes Charlie Corcoran (Sets), Michael McDonald (Costumes), and Bart Fasbender (Sound). The Production Stage Manager is David M. Beris.
The Last Smoker in America will play the following performance schedule: Monday, October 12th at 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, October13th at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 14th at 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 16th at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, October 17th at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 18th at 1:00 p.m. Added performance dates for THE LAST SMOKER IN AMERICA are Wednesday afternoon, October 14th at 1:00 p.m. and late night Friday, October 16th at 11:00 p.m.
Hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," the three-week annual festival works to revitalize one of America's greatest art forms by discovering, supporting and promoting new musical theater artists, producers, and projects, and by introducing a diverse audience to the vibrancy of contemporary musical theater. Widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery, NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2009 is presented in association with BroadwayWorld.com, Production Resource Group and TheaterMania.com, and is supported by Back Stage, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, BroadwayBox.com, BroadwayInsider.com, Broadway.TV, Clear Channel Spectacolor, DFD-TV, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, King Displays, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, New World Stages, NASDAQ OMX, Next Magazine, Queerty.com, Reuters, Sweet Caroline's, Tekserve, TheMenEvent.com, The Tank, and Times Square Squared. Major supporters include The ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Inc., The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jamie Mayer, The Charlie & Jane Fink Charitable Fund, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
Tickets to individual festival events are now on sale to NYMF Members and will go on sale to the general public on September 1. NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org.
Photo credit: Robert Saferstein
Marcus Neville, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Alex Wyse and Felicia Finley
Natalie Venetia Belcon
Marcus Neville as Ernie, Natalie Venetia Belcon as Phyliss and Alex Wyse as Jimmy with Felicia Finley as Pam