SpeakEasy Stage Presents Far From Heaven

SpeakEasy Stage Presents Far From Heaven

August 26, 2014

Scott Edmiston to Direct Boston Premiere of the Acclaimed Off-Broadway Musical

(BOSTON) – From September 12 – October 11, 2014, SpeakEasy Stage Company will proudly present the Boston Premiere of FAR FROM HEAVEN, a lush new musical based on Todd Haynes’ acclaimed 2002 film.

Featuring a book by Tony Award-winner Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out) and music and lyrics by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, the creators of Grey Gardens, FAR FROM HEAVEN tells the story of a 1950s Connecticut housewife whose perfect life is shattered when she discovers her husband’s shocking secret and then seeks comfort in a forbidden relationship that dramatically alters her view of herself and the world.

Like Haynes’ film, the musical is also an homage to the 1950s melodramas of film director Douglas Sirk, which beneath their simple plots, dealt with issues of class and conformity in small-town America, and were bold indictments of American mores.

Jennifer Ellis, whose recent work includes Jacques Brel… (Gloucester Stage) and The Secret Garden (Stoneham Theatre), heads an all-star Boston cast that includes Aimee Doherty, Kerry A. Dowling, Will McGarrahan, Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Carolyn Saxon, and Jared Troilo.

Also featured are Darren Bunch, Audree Hedequist, Tyler Lenhart, Michael Levesque, Sophia Mack, Carla Martinez, Jennifer Mischley, Terrence O’Malley, Ellen Peterson, Josh Sussman, and Rachel Gianna Tassio.

Norton Award-winnner Scott Edmiston, whose SpeakEasy productions include The Light in the Piazza, Other Desert Cities, and The History Boys will direct this production, aided by choreographer David Connolly and music director Steven Bergman.

The design team includes Eric Levenson (scenic), Charles Schoonmaker (costumes), and Karen Perlow (lighting). The Production Stage Manager is Dawn Schall Saglio. The Assistant Stage Manager is Tareena D. Wimbish.

FAR FROM HEAVEN will run for five weeks, from September 12 through October 11 in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

Tickets start at $25. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

About the Authors

RICHARD GREENBERG (Book) Plays include The Assembled PartiesTake Me OutThe House in TownThe Violet Hour, The DazzleThree Days of RainHurrah at LastNight and Her StarsThe American Plan, Life Under WaterThe Author’s Voice.

SCOTT FRANKEL (Music) was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his work on Grey Gardens, which ran at Playwrights Horizons before transferring to Broadway in 2006.  He has also written the music for Finding Neverland (UK premiere, 2012), Happiness (Lincoln Center Theater commission), Doll (Ravinia Festival, Richard Rodgers Award), and Meet Mister Future, all with lyricist Michael Korie. Frankel is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and the Frederick Loewe Award.  He was the 2011-2012 Frances and William Schuman Fellow at The MacDowell Colony and is a graduate of Yale University.

MICHAEL KORIE (Lyrics) Grey Gardens (Playwrights Horizons, Broadway, OCC Award); Finding Neverland (Curve Theatre, England); The Grapes of Wrath (Minnesota Opera, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall), Harvey Milk (San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, NYCO); Doctor Zhivago (Sydney Lyric Theatre; upcoming NY); Happiness (LCT); Doll (Ravinia Festival, Chicago); Hopper’s Wife (Long Beach California Opera); Kabbalah (BAM Next Wave Festival); Where’s Dick? (Houston). This is his fifth collaboration with Scott Frankel. Korie serves on the council of The Dramatist Guild Fellows Program and teaches Lyric Writing at Yale. Awards include the Edward Kleban Award, Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award.

About the Artistic Team

SCOTT EDMISTON (Director) returns to SpeakEasy where he has directed The History BoysThe Light in the PiazzaFive by Tenn,; Other Desert CitiesNext FallIn the Next Room (or the vibrator play);  RecklessThe WomenThe Last Sunday in June; and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. He has directed more than 60 productions across New England for Lyric Stage, A.R.T., Huntington Theatre, and New Rep, among others. Highlights: Long Day’s Journey into NightCat on a Hot Tin RoofTime Stands StillSunday in the Park with George, Water by the Spoonful, A Marvelous Party, Nixon in ChinaPrivate Lives, and Betrayal.  Scott is the recipient of SpeakEasy’s Outstanding Artist Award,  three Elliot Norton Awards, two IRNE Awards, the StageSource Theatre Hero Award, and the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence in Theatre. He is a Professor of the Practice and Chair of the Theatre Department at Northeastern University.

STEVEN BERGMAN (Music Director) SpeakEasy: Adding Machine: A Musical (IRNE nomination, Norton Award for Best Musical). Other credits include Spring Awakening and Parade (FUDGE Theatre); Annie, Beauty and the Beast (Wheelock Family Theatre); [title of show] (DASH winner – ACME Theater); The Gig, When Pigs Fly (Lyric Stage). Steve is also the composer/lyricist of Jack the Ripper, which was produced this past March at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, and of Reigning Cats & Dogs, which will premiere in 2015 at the Arsenal Center. He is also the orchestrator/arranger for the 2013 cast recording of Drawin’ on the Wall by Chris Guin. Steven is also a public school music and drama teacher.

DAVID CONNOLLY (Choreographer) is thrilled to return to work with SpeakEasy Stage Company.  Recent SpeakEasy credits include Xanadu; The Drowsy Chaperone (IRNE Award Winner: Best Director of a Musical, Elliot Norton Award Nomination); Nine; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; Adding Machine: A Musical; and [title of show].  David is a member of the Musical Theater Faculty at The Boston Conservatory.

About the Cast

DARREN BUNCH (Gus) is pleased to be making his SpeakEasy debut. Regional credits include The Donkey Show (Fairy) at A.R.T.; Grease (Johnny Casino) at Theatre By The Sea; and A Chorus Line, Bye Bye Birdie, and My Fair Lady at Reagle Music Theatre. Darren is currently a senior at The Boston Conservatory where he has performed in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Merrily We Roll Along, Hair, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

AIMEE DOHERTY* (Eleanor Fine) SpeakEasy credits include Nine (IRNE Award: Best Actress), The Women, and Company. Aimee recently appeared as The Witch in Into the Woods at Lyric Stage and as Betsy/Lindsay in Clybourne Park at New Century Theatre. She is a rotating cast member of Shear Madness at the Charles Street Playhouse. Television and radio credits include The Makeover (ABC) and The Making of a Monster: Whitey Bulger (Discovery), plus various radio spots for D’Angelo Sandwich Shops, Papa Gino’s, and the Museum of Science. Aimee received the 2014 Elliot Norton Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in both Hairspray (Wheelock) and On The Town (Lyric).

KERRY A. DOWLING* (Mrs. Leacock)returns to SpeakEasy having performed in  Carrie: the musical; Clybourne Park; Next to NormalThe Drowsy ChaperoneNineThe Great American Trailer Park Musical; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; The Women; Bat Boy; and Company (IRNE Award). Other regional credits include Nicholas NicklebyFollies (Lyric Stage); Into the Woods (New Rep); A Man of No Importance  (Súgán/SpeakEasy); Steel MagnoliasPal Joey (Stoneham Theatre); The Most Happy Fella, Dueling Divas (Gloucester Stage); Distracted (Underground Railway Theater); and Gypsy (Next Door Theater). Kerry is the recipient of the 2010 SpeakEasy Stage Outstanding Artist Award.

JENNIFER ELLIS* (Cathy Whitaker) is thrilled to return to SpeakEasy Stage, having last been seen in Nine.  Local credits include Commonwealth Shakespeare, Lyric Stage, Gloucester Stage, New Rep, Central Square Theater, Metro Stage, Boston Lyric Opera, Peterborough Players, The Huntington Theatre, and Stoneham Theatre. She also regularly appears in the long-running hit Shear Madness at the Charles Playhouse, and received an IRNE Award for her portrayal of Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella at Gloucester Stage. Jen also works as a corporate spokesperson and voiceover artist.  www.JenEllis.net

AUDREE HEDEQUIST (Janice Whitaker) is pleased to make her SpeakEasy debut. Some favorite Boston-area credits include The Hobbit, The Miracle Worker, Annie, A Tale of Two Cities, Charlotte’s Web (Wheelock Family Theatre) and HONK!, Alexander, and A Year With Frog and Toad (Boston Children’s Theatre). She also played Ariel in Riverside Theatre Works’ production of The Little Mermaid JR. Audree was honored to participate in The Boston Theater Marathon (2012) in Mary Conroy’s play The Flying Winter Princess, and received an IRNE nomination (2013) for her portrayal of Helen in The Miracle Worker.

TYLER LENHART (Chase) is thrilled to be making his SpeakEasy debut! Tyler is a recent graduate of The Boston Conservatory where he received his BFA in Musical Theater. Boston Conservatory: Merrily We Roll AlongMuch Ado About NothingNoises OffThe Way of the World, Urinetown. Other favorites include: Hanschen in Spring Awakening, Frankie Epps in Parade, and Ernest in A Proper Place  (Goodspeed Opera House).

MIKE LEVESQUE (Dick Dawson) returns to SpeakEasy having previously appeared in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Next to Normal. Michael was most recently seen in the World Premieres of Creative License: A New Musical (Casey) and Jack the Ripper: The Whitechapel Musical (Abberline). Other local credits include The Shape of Things (Adam), Legally Blonde (Emmett), and Rooms (Ian).

SOPHIA MACK (Sarah Deagan) is pleased to make her SpeakEasy debut in Far From Heaven. Recent credits include Where the Mountain Meets the Moon at Wheelock Family Theatre, Peter Pan at the French Woods Performing Arts Festival, and the Cabot After School productions of Annie and Honk. She has also performed in The Nutcracker with both the Boston Ballet and Washington Ballet, and done voice -over work for the children’s book series Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo.

CARLA MARTINEZ (Esther) is honored to be making her SpeakEasy debut! She was most recently seen as Addaperle in The Wiz at Interlakes Summer Theatre. New England credits include:  Hairspray  (2014 Elliot Norton Award: Outstanding Musical Production, Outstanding Ensemble); It’s a Wonderful Life, Oliver (Wheelock Family Theatre); The Full Monty, Forum, Les Misérables, Dreamgirls (Interlakes Summer Theatre). She is an actress, singer, dancer, and choreographer currently residing in Boston. Carla is a graduate of Berklee College of Music.

WILL McGARRAHAN* (Morris Farnsworth, Dr. Bowman)  happily returns to SpeakEasy Stage where he performed in Next Fall, The Drowsy Chaperone, Reckless, Some Men, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Five By Tenn, Company, The Last Sunday in June, Elegies, Ruthless!, and A New Brain.  Other local credits include Into The Woods, Death of a Salesman, Becky’s New Car, 33 VariationsThe Chosen, The Temperamentals, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Grey Gardens, November, Souvenir, and Dirty Blonde (Lyric Stage); A Raisin in the Sun (Huntington Theatre); The Wind in the Willows and Happy Days (Gloucester Stage); Nine Circles (Publick Theatre); and A Moon For The Misbegotten and Buried Child (Nora Theatre).

JENNIFER MISCHLEY (Doreen Dawson) is thrilled to make her SpeakEasy debut. She recently appeared as Luisa in Nine at the MMAS Black Box Theatre.  Other regional musical productions include South Pacific (Nellie), The King and I (Anna), and Beauty and the Beast (u/s Belle) with Fiddlehead Theatre.  Other local shows include 1776 (Abigail Adams), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), Chicago (Roxie), and Gypsy (Gypsy Rose Lee).  Jennifer graduated from RIC with a BA in Theatre, holds an MS from Boston University, and has worked as an actor and voice-over artist in many television and radio commercials.

TERRENCE O’MALLEY (Stan Fine) is very pleased to be returning to SpeakEasy having previously performed in Parade and The Food Chain. He has also appeared on stage with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (2 Gents), Lyric Stage (1776), and New Rep (A Christmas Carol). Terrence is also a science educator at both the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science. Visitors to those institutions may have seen him enthusiastically lecturing on lobsters or letting loose loads of lightning.

MAURICE EMMANUEL PARENT* (Raymond Deagan) recently appeared at SpeakEasy as Mister in The Color Purple and Ralph D. in The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Norton and IRNE Award nominations). Recent credits: Into the Woods (Lyric Stage), Camelot (New Rep), and Romeo and Juliet (Actors’ Shakespeare Project – Resident Company Member). Maurice has also worked at the Huntington and Central Square Theatres. 2008 Elliot Norton Award for Some Men (SpeakEasy), Angels in America (Boston Theatre Works) and The Wild Party (New Rep).Other credits: The Rink (Cape Playhouse); The Good War directed by David H. Bell and Craig Carnelia (York Theatre). www.MauriceParent.com

ELLEN PETERSON (Mona Lauder) is delighted to return to SpeakEasy where she was previously seen in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Parade.  She just finished a run of MARY POPPINS at RI’s Theatre By The Sea.  Ellen has also enjoyed working at Worcester’s Hanover Theatre, and in and around Boston at the North Shore Music Theatre, Huntington Theatre Co., Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Reagle Music Theatre, Fiddlehead, Wheelock Family Theatre, Lyric Stage, Stoneham Theatre and New Rep. She has twice been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress IRNE award.

CAROLYN SAXON* (Sybil) SpeakEasy: The Color Purple, In The Heights. Broadway/National Tours/NY Theatre: The Civil War, Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk, Hair, Purlie, Can-Can, Timmy the Great, Linda Eder: The Christmas Concert, NYFF. Film: Sweet & Lowdown, Small Time Crooks, Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Regional: North Shore Music Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Studio Arena Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Weston Playhouse, Forestburgh Playhouse. Other: Boston Pops Gospel Choir, Carnegie Hall, Indianapolis Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Community Choir, NEC Millennium Choir.

JOSH SUSSMAN (David Whitaker) is thrilled to make his SpeakEasy Stage debut! Josh recently appeared as Kurt in The Sound of Music at Stagedoor Manor. Other recent performances include Brundibar with Underground Railway Theater, A Christmas Carol with Hanover Theatre, Bye Bye Birdie with Reagle Music Theatre, To Kill a Mockingbird with Roxbury Repertory Theater, and The Velveteen Rabbit with Boston Children’s Theatre. Josh is an eighth grader at The Rashi School in Dedham.

RACHEL GIANNA TASSIO (Nancy/Connie) SpeakEasy: Debut!  Rachel graduated from the The Boston Conservatory in May with a BFA in Musical Theater.  She has been seen in the Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals at Goodspeed Opera House and in productions with Off the Grid Theatre Company (www.offthegridtheatre.com).

JARED TROILO* (Frank Whitaker) is thrilled to return to SpeakEasy, having previously appeared as Tremont/Angel Gabriel in Jerry Springer: The Opera.   New England credits include Captain Crewe in A Little Princess (Fiddlehead Theatre Company), Stone in City of Angels (FUDGE Theatre Company), Joseph in Joseph… Dreamcoat (Palace Theatre), Danny in Grease! (Palace Theatre), and Billy Flynn in Chicago (Interlakes Theatre). Most recently, Jared spent two years performing in over 30 countries as a lead singer on board several luxury cruise lines.  Graduate of The Boston Conservatory. Proud member of Actors’ Equity.

For tickets or more information on FAR FROM HEAVEN,the public can call the Boston Theatre Scene Box Office at 617.933.8600 or visit www.BostonTheatreScene.com.

Press inquiries should be directed to SpeakEasy Marketing Director Jim Torres:

Office: 617.482.3279     Cell: 617.529.1670   Email: JimTorres@SpeakEasyStage.com.


Calendar Listing Information


Book by Richard Greenberg, Music by Scott Frankel, Lyrics by Michael Korie.

Based on the Focus Features/Vulcan Productions Motion Picture Written and Directed by Todd Haynes.

From Tony Award-winner Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out) and Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, the creators of Grey Gardens, comes this lush musical adaptation of Todd Haynes’ acclaimed romantic melodrama of private longings and social taboos . A 1950s Connecticut housewife’s perfect life is shattered when she discovers her husband’s shocking secret and then seeks comfort in a forbidden relationship that dramatically alters her view of herself and the world.

Presented by: SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Calderwood Pavilion Resident Theatre Company at the Boston Center for the Arts; Paul Daigneault, Producing Artistic Director

Cast:   Darren Bunch, Aimee Doherty, Kerry A. Dowling, Jennifer Ellis, Audree Hedequist, Tyler Lenhart, Michael Levesque, Sophia Mack, Carla Martinez, Will McGarrahan, Jennifer Mischley, Terrence O’Malley, Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Ellen Peterson, Carolyn Saxon, Josh Sussman, Rachel Gianna Tassio, and Jared Troilo

Directed by: Scott Edmiston

Choreography by: David Connolly

Musical Direction by: Steven Bergman

Stage Management: Dawn Schall Saglio, Tareena D. Wimbish, Alycia Marucci

Design Team:

Scenic: Eric Levenson
Costumes: Charles Schoonmaker
Lighting: Karen Perlow

Performing at: Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End

Press Performance: Sunday, September 14, 2014 – 3PM. Other dates by request.

Performance Schedule: September 12 – October 11, 2014
Wed. & Thurs. at 7:30PM; Fri. at 8PM; Sat. at 4PM & 8PM; Sun. at 3PM
Added performance: Thurs. Oct. 9 at 2PM

Estimated Run Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes including intermission

Ticket Prices: Tickets start at $25. Seniors $5 off at all times.
Age 25 and under: $25 at all times.

Student Rush: $15 with valid college ID, at the box-office only, two hours before curtain, subject to availability

Box Office: 617.933.8600; www.BostonTheatreScene.com

Press Contact Only:  Jim Torres – 617.529.1670 (cell)

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