More casting has been announced for the upcoming world premiere of Sinatra The Musical, set to play the U.K.'s Birmingham Rep September 23-October 28. As previously announced, Tony winner Matt Doyle will take on Ol' Blue Eyes, with Olivier winner and three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall directing and choreographing. Tony winner Joe DiPietro penned the book.
Newly joining Doyle in the cast are Ana Villafañe (On Your Feet!) as Ava Gardner, Phoebe Panaretos (Strictly Ballroom) as Nancy Sinatra, Dawn Buckland as Dolly Sinatra, Vincent Riotta as Marty Sinatra, Carl Patrick as George Evans, Maddy Ambus as Marlene Dietrich, Tyler Orphé Baker as Nat King Cole, Greg Bernstein as Gene Kelly, Helen Colby as Hedda Hopper, Frances Dee as Judy Garland, Alex Gibson-Giorgio as Nelson Riddle, Ryesha Higgs as Billie Holliday, Stevie Hutchinson as Lee Mortimer, Lottie Power as Lana Turner, Spin as Sammy Davis, Jr., and John Stacey as Mitch Miller. The role of Little Nancy will be shared by Amelia Connor, Effie Gell, and Isla Granville.
Rounding out the company are Samara Casteallo and Alastair Crosswell in the ensemble and swing Lindsay Atherton.
Sinatra The Musical is set on New Year's Eve 1942 as a 27-year-old Italian-American singer is about to step onto the stage of New York's Paramount Theatre. As Sinatra's career skyrockets, he struggles with balancing the love of his wife, Nancy, against the demands and temptations of his career. When he begins an affair with Ava Gardner, his records stop selling and the press turns against him, but one of the greatest comebacks in showbiz will follow.
Michele Anthony, Bruce Resnikoff, and Scott Landis serve as producers for Universal Music Group Theatrical, with Tina Sinatra and Charles Pignone serving as producers on behalf of Frank Sinatra Enterprises.
The production will feature music supervision by Gareth Valentine, scenic design by Peter McKintosh, costume design by Jon Morrell, lighting design by Tim Mitchell, sound design by Paul Groothuis, video design by Akhila Krishnan, wigs, hair, and make-up design by Campbell Young, orchestrations by Larry Blank and John Clayton, arrangements by Ian Eisendrath, and dance arrangements by David Chase. U.S. casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger, and U.K. casting is by David Grindrod and Will Burton. Additional casting is to be announced.
An American icon, both as a singer and, later, as a movie actor, Sinatra never performed on Broadway, but starred in Hollywood film adaptations of four classic musicals: Guys and Dolls, On the Town, Pal Joey, and Can-Can. He appeared in many non-Broadway musicals as well, including Anchors Aweigh, Reveille With Beverly, and Robin and the Seven Hoods. Among non-musicals, Sinatra starred in the film of Neil Simon's first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn. His late-career hit "New York, New York" was written for a film of the same name (a stage adaptation of the film is currently running on Broadway) by the Chicago and Cabaret team of John Kander and Fred Ebb.
During the time in the 1940s-1960s when show tunes and Top 40 were virtually identical, Sinatra recorded dozens of them, some several times. Cole Porter songs were a favorite, but he returned again and again to the works of Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, and Cy Coleman, among many others.
Even after rock pushed show tunes out of the Top 40, Sinatra continued to record them, laying down tracks of Jerry Herman's "I Won't Send Roses" and Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns," "Good Thing Going," and "Old Friend" in the 1970s and '80s.
Tickets are on sale now at Birmingham-rep.co.uk.