(Minneapolis/St. Paul) — Theater Latté Da announced the cast for Bessie’s Birthday, book and lyrics by Katie Baldwin Eng, music by Jeff Tang. This musical comedy is being developed as part of NEXT: New Musicals in the Making, a major new work program to develop new musical theater in the Twin Cities. Bessie’s Birthday features Caroline Innerbichler as Bessie, Elizabeth Griffith as Delphine, Janet Hanson as May, John Gamoke as Jack, Julie Madden as Grace, James Detmar as Sam, and Sasha Andreev as Max. Public readings of Bessie’s Birthday will take place April 26-28 at The Lab Theater in the Minneapolis Warehouse District.
This hilarious and insightful new musical, Bessie’s Birthday, is set in rural Wisconsin and reunites a family for its annual celebration of Bessie’s birthday. Although Bessie is turning 30, she suffered a seizure as a child that has left her perpetually six years old, or so they think. But this year’s party is different; Bessie is on the cusp of change, ready to take the plunge. In the end, everyone is indeed changed as they all leap into the family pool.
Theater Latté Da presented a 40-minute version of Bessie’s Birthday in 2009 as a part of Passage of Dreams, a triptych of new musicals at the Southern Theater. NEXT allows Eng and Tang to develop the piece into a full-length musical. Baldwin says, “Peter Rothstein is both intelligent and brave which allows him to be respectful of the creative process and let it unfold organically.”
NEXT will provide Twin Cities’ audiences the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the creative process and witness new musicals in the making. Peter Rothstein, Theater Latté Da Artistic Director, sits on the board of directors of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and has been highly involved in their festival of new musicals. NEXT enters Theater Latté Da into this national arena and fulfills the organization’s commitment to the next generation of the American Musical Theater.
Rothstein says, “I have been attending and assessing new work festivals for a number of years. I believe NEXT will put playwrights, composers and lyricists at the center of the process and engage our audience as a key collaborator. It’s a thrilling step for the company.”
ABOUT THEATER LATTÉ DA
Theater Latté Da is a Twin Cities theater company recognized for its ability to connect story, music, artist and audience through diverse stories and theatrical innovation. Theater Latté Da specializes in advancing the art of musical storytelling through emotional, visceral and intellectual performances that resonate with our current world. The company’s bold approach expands the genre by originating new works, radically reinventing classics from the musical theater canon, and experimenting with unusual forms, musical styles and storytelling techniques. www.LatteDa.org
BESSIE’S BIRTHDAY AT A GLANCE
Book & Lyrics by Katie Baldwin Eng Music by Jeff Tang
April 26-28, 2013 Friday – Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 2:00 p.m.
Single tickets are $14.
The Lab Theater 700 North First Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401 Box Office: 612-339-3003 LatteDa.org
The musicals being presented as part of NEXT are works in progress and not fully-realized productions. As such, reviewer tickets will not be available. For more information, please call 612-339-3003 or visit www.LatteDa.org.