STEPHEN SCHWARTZ CHILDREN’S MUSICAL
ANNOUNCES CAST FOR NATIONAL TOUR FOR 2006-7
Captain Louie Partners New York and producers Meridee Stein, Kurt Peterson and Bob Reich, are pleased to announce the cast for the upcoming national tour for the new Stephen Schwartz children’s musical, Captain Louie. Cast members include: Caylin Campbell, Jonathan Castillo, Jason Edward Cook, Sarah Madej, Ramona Mallory, Chelsea Jo Pattison, Daniel Plancarte and Dorian Shorts. Production Stage Manager is Beth Lynn Tiller.
The tour has been booked by the Brad Simon Organization and will be seen on both coasts, the midwest, southeast and in the NY metro area. The 6-month, 25 city tour will begin in Bridgeport on October 8, and includes performances in St. Louis, Fayettevill, AR, Opelika, AL, Glendora, Lancaster and Costa Mesa, CA, Medford, OR, Purchase, NY, Coral Springs, FL, Bridgeport, Westport and Hartford, CT, and Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY, among others. (See the complete itinerary below.)
Captain Louie, with book by Anthony Stein, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and based on the picture book The Trip by the Caldecott Award-winning author Ezra Jack Keats, completed a short run Off-Broadway at the Little Shubert Theatre in November 2005. Prior to that, the show had a 6-week limited run at the York Theatre Company in the spring of 2005, and was given readings at TADA in 2002, ASCAP in 2003 and the New York Music Theatre Festival in 2004. Meridee Stein directed both the New York productions and the readings, and is directing the national tour as well. Ray Fellman is music director and Joshua Bergasse is the choreographer. Joshua Light Show created the multi-media design, with Scott Davis as lighting designer. Costumes by Elizabeth Flauto, and scenic design by Jeff Subik, both based on the illustrations of Ezra Jack Keats.
A press announcement describes this upbeat and fanciful children’s tale: Young Louie feels lonely and without friends in his new neighborhood. Looking for something to cheer himself up on Halloween Night, Louie returns to his old neighborhood friends in an imaginary journey on the wings of his favorite toy, his little red plane. The story is full of tricks and treats, and the incomparable music and lyrics of Stephen Schwartz. Most of all, Captain Louie is about friendship -- the ability to make new friends and the importance of old ones.
Critcs hailed the work as a wonderful new piece for family audiences. The New York Times called Captain Louie "A charming, child-size slice of Broadway..." and the Daily News exclaimed, "Captain Fantastic!"
Stephen Schwartz is the 3-time Oscar winner for his songs from the animated films Pocahontas and Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney) and Prince of Egypt( DreamWorks), and is the composer of such Broadway shows as Godspell, Pippin, Working and the current mega hit Wicked.
Schwartz also produced the World Premiere Recording of the Captain Louie CD, which can be found at PSClassics.com and Amazon.com
Music Theatre International holds worldwide licensing rights for stock and amateur productions.
Captain Louie runs about an hour and is suggested for audiences ages 2 to 200. For more information visit the Captain Louie Web site at: musicalschwartz.com/captain-louie.htm
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Captain Louie Flies High
Posted by Becca Martin at 12:52 PM on October 13, 2006
Most shows that play the Walton Arts Center stay one night, maybe two. So it's always seemed unfair to me to review them: "Wow, it was terrific! Too bad you can't see it!" I'm going to make an exception about this week's "Captain Louie": Wow, it was terrific! Too bad you can't see it! (And you should go if it comes within driving distance again!) Just because something is "a touring production" doesn't automatically make it better than what you might see at University Theater or any of the community theaters in the region — and that goes double for children's shows. But "Captain Louie," an adaptation of a kids' book titled "The Trip," was sophisticated, high-energy, smooth as silk and warm as hot cocoa on a chilly fall evening.
Chelsea Jo Pattison was luminescent as Louie, a little boy who uses his imagination to fly back to his old neighborhood, and the rest of the cast, all with Off-Off Broadway or regional theater experience, raised themselves to her level. The music, by Stephen Schwartz, was exactly the caliber you'd expect from the guy who wrote "Wicked" and "Godspell." And the special effects were just as much fun as the story — which started with one of the actors reading the book, a great lesson for kids who might not like to read as much as we all wish they did.
Here's the down side: The auditorium was way too empty for a show of this caliber. I know thousands of kids saw the daytime performances for schools, but moms and dads missed out on a great thing! And here's a hint for the WAC staff: Sell the book in the lobby after the show. It would be a gift that keeps on giving.
For audience reviews of the CD and our National Tour, please go to this link: http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Louie-2005-Studio-Cast/