Two performances of an invitation-only industry reading of the new musical drama, Wallenberg, were presented at the Hilton Theatre Studios in Manhattan on May 7 and 8.
Wallenberg tells the inspiring story of Raoul Wallenberg, one of the greatest heroes of the 20th century. This one man's unconventional acts of bravery saved the lives of over 100,000 people during World War II. Between face-offs with the notorious Nazi colonel, Adolf Eichmann, and secret dealings with Baroness Elisabeth Kemény, the wife of one of Hungary's most prominent fascist leaders, Wallenberg was able to accomplish more in six months than most people do in a lifetime. His story is one of drama, romance, mystery and hope.
Wallenberg has a book and lyrics by the 2006 Kleban Award-winning team of Laurence Holzman & Felicia Needleman and a lush, powerful score by Benjamin Rosenbluth.
The title role was performed by Thom Christopher Warren (The Lion King, Once Upon a Mattress, Harmony), who led a talented cast of 26. Jill Paice (Curtains, The Woman in White, Gone With the Wind) portrayed the baroness, Joe Cassidy (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, 1776) played Eichmann; and Jim Weitzer (The Phantom of the Opera, Little Women) performed the role of Per Anger, the diplomat with whom Wallenberg worked.
Also in the cast are Darrel Blackburn, Preston Truman Boyd, Bret Carr, Roger DeWitt, Richert Easley, Karen Elliott, Alice Evans, Mark Fisher, Lauren Lebowitz, Vanessa Lemonides, Michael Marcotte, Mike McGowan, Laura Patinkin, Richard Roland, Staci Rudnitsky, Bruce Sabath, Brian Schwartz, Matthew Scott, Sara Sheperd, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Todd Thurston and Lynne Wintersteller.
The show is directed by Emmy Award-winner Annette Jolles and music direction is by Sariva Goetz.