The cast and creative team for the Hartford Stage world premiere of the new musical The Flamingo Kid, helmed by Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak, have been announced. The musical, which closes the 2018–2019 season, will begin performances May 9 and continue through June 9.
Inspired by the 1984 Garry Marshall coming-of-age film starring Matt Dillon, The Flamingo Kid reunites Tony winner Tresnjak with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder’s Tony-winning book writer and lyricist Robert L. Freedman; they are collaborating with Tony-nominated composer Scott Frankel.
The cast will be headed by newcomer Jimmy Brewer (Motherfreakinghood) as Jeffrey Winnick with Broadway veterans Adam Heller (Elf, Victor/Victoria) and Liz Larsen (The Most Happy Fella, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Arthur and Ruth, Jeffrey’s parents, and three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Olivier winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda the Musical) as Phil and Phyllis Brody, the affluent couple who frequent the El Flamingo Club. Samantha Massell (Fiddler on the Roof) plays their niece, Carla, with Lindsey Brett Carothers (Gettin’ the Band Back Together) as Joyce, Ben Fankhauser (Newsies the Musical) as Steve, and Alex Wyse (Waitress) as Hawk.
The ensemble includes Ben Bogen, Michael Hartung, Jean Kauffman, Ken Krugman, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Anna Noble, Erin Leigh Peck, Steve Routman, William Squier, Kathy Voytko, Price Waldman, Kelli Youngman, and Stuart Zagnit. Students from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford—Gregory Rodriguez, Taylor Lloyd, and Jayke Workman—round out the cast.
The Flamingo Kid is set in the summer of 1963 when Brooklyn teenager Jeffrey Winnick, against the wishes of his father, leaves behind his blue-collar roots for a job working as a cabana boy at the colorful El Flamingo—a posh private club on Long Island. There, he meets Carla, a forward-thinking young woman from California. Tensions grow between father and son when a slick club member takes Jeffrey under his wing.
The creative team also includes Tony-nominated choreographer Denis Jones, Tony Award-nominated set designer Alexander Dodge, Tony-winning costume designer Linda Cho, lighting designer Philip Rosenberg, Drama Desk Award-nominated sound designer Peter Hylenski, Drama Desk Award-winning projection designer Aaron Rhyne, music director Thomas Murray, Tony-winning orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, Drama Desk Award-winning hair designer Charles G. LaPointe, make-up designer Joya Giambrone, fight choreographer Thomas Schall, associate choreographer Robbie Roby, and assistant music director Paul Staroba with dance and vocal arrangements by composer Frankel.
Hartford Stage Artistic Associate Rachel Alderman is the associate director, Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson is the dramaturg, and Linda Marvel will serve as production stage manager, assisted by Genevieve Kersh and Michael Wilhoite.
The Flamingo Kid will be Tresnjak’s last production as artistic director of Hartford Stage and the first new musical to premiere at the Tony-winning theatre since Anastasia in May 2016.
The Flamingo Kid is presented by special arrangement with Bob Israel, Larry Hirschhorn, and Cody Lassen.