Tony winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie) will step into Classic Stage Company's A Man of No Importance in the supporting role of Father Kenny beginning December 7 and continuing through December 11. The production is currently down three actors: Jim Parsons, Nathaniel Stampley, and Joel Waggoner. Also taking the stage with Fontana are understudies Benjamin Howes (Mary Poppins), filling in for Parsons as Alfie Byrne; and Justin Scott Brown (Anastasia) as Ernie Lally.
The three will also perform in the special benefit performance previously scheduled for December 11. The extended Off-Broadway revival of Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally's A Man of No Importance, which officially opened October 30, will play through December 18.
“The understudies we have at A Man of No Importance are an incredible group of artists, and we’ve been so lucky to have them rise to the occasion each and every time they’re called upon,” said Producing Artistic Director Jill Rafson in a statement. “When even they couldn’t cover all the needs in this moment, we called in reinforcements to keep the show going. It’s such a gift to have a performer like Santino drop everything and come to our rescue."
Performances began October 11 for the production, helmed by outgoing Artistic Director John Doyle. Based on the 1994 Albert Finney film, the musical tells the story of an amateur theatre group in 1960s Dublin and their leader, bus driver Alfie Byrne, who is determined to stage a production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome despite the objections of local church authorities. The original production won the 2003 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical.
Parsons leads the cast which also stars Shereen Ahmed, Alma Cuervo, Kara Mikula, Da'Von T. Moody, Mary Beth Peil, Thom Sesma, A.J. Shively, Jessica Tyler Wright, Mare Winningham, and William Youmans, along with Stampley and Waggoner. Rounding out the company as additional understudies Lee Harrington and Beth Kirkpatrick.
Doyle, a Tony winner for his actor-musician revival of Sweeney Todd, also provides the production's scenic design, with costumes by Ann Hould Ward, lighting by Adam Honoré, sound design by Sun Hee Kil, and casting by The Telsey Office's Craig Burns. Orchestrations are by Bruce Coughlin, with electronic music design by Strange Cranium and music direction by Caleb Hoyer. Bernita Robinson is production stage manager with Hollace Jeffords serving as assistant stage manager. Judi Lewis Ockler is fight and intimacy director.