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Death Takes a Holiday: full cast announced

Roundabout Theatre Company have announced the cast for the world premiere of the new musical Death Takes a Holiday, with book by Peter Stone & Thomas Meehan, music & lyrics by Maury Yeston, directed by Doug Hughes.

Death Takes a Holiday opens at the Laura Pels Theatre on 21 Jul 2011, following previews from 10 Jun, and run through to 4 Sep 2011.

The cast features Linda Balgord (Contessa Danielli), Matt Cavenaugh (Eric Fenton), Mara Davi (Alice), Joy Hermalyn (Cora), Jay Jaski (Lorenzo), Simon Jones (Dr. Dario Albione), Rebecca Luker (Duchess Lamberti), Patricia Noonan (Sophia), Julian Ovenden (Prince Sirki / Death), Jill Paice (Grazia), Michael Siberry (Duke Lamberti), Alexandra Socha (Daisy Fenton), Don Stephenson (Fidele), Max Von Essen (Corrado Montelli).

The creative team includes Kevin Stites (Musical Direction & Supervision), Peter Pucci (Choreography), Derek McLane (Sets), Catherine Zuber (Costumes), Kenneth Posner (Lights), Jon Weston (Sound) and Tom Watson (Hair & Wigs).

Death Takes a Holiday is based on the dramatic play by Alberto Casella, rewritten for the American stage by Walter Ferris.

In Death Takes a Holiday, it's just after the first World War and the loneliest of souls arrives at an Italian villa disguised as a handsome young Prince, and for the first time experiences the joys and heartbreaks of life. But when he unexpectedly falls in love with a newly engaged young woman, the mysterious stranger discovers that love may in fact be stronger than death.

Directed by Tony winner Doug Hughes (Doubt), this tale of love is adapted by Tony-winning writers Peter Stone (1776) and Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray), and features songs by Tony winner Maury Yeston (Nine, Titanic).

Casssella's play has inspired many recreations of his famous story, in radio, television and film. The 1934 film "Death Takes a Holiday" was followed by a 1937 airing on Cecil B. Demille's Lux Radio Theatre, a 1971 television production and the 1998 Hollywood remake titled "Meet Joe Black."

Composer & librettist Maury Yeston collaborated with the Roundabout on their 2003 Tony-winning revival of 'Nine,' starring Antonio Banderas. Roundabout resident Director Doug Hughes most recently staged the Broadway production of 'Mrs. Warren's Profession' starring Cherry Jones & Sally Hawkins.


Linda Balgord (Contessa Danielli). Broadway: 'The Pirate Queen' (Queen Elizabeth I), 'La Cage Aux Folles' (2005 Revival), 'CATS' (Grizabella), 'Passion, Gypsy' (Rose Stand-by). National Tours: 'Sunset Boulevard' (Norma Desmond), 'Aspects of Love' ( Rose Vibert). 'Jerry Springer the Opera in Concert' at Carnegie Hall (Zandra, Irene and The Virgin Mary).

Matt Cavenaugh (Eric Fenton). Broadway: 'West Side Story' (OCC, Drama League Nominations), 'Grey Gardens,' 'A Catered Affair,' 'Urban Cowboy,' 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' (National Tour). Regional: LA Reprise, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, George Street Playhouse, GoodSpeed Opera House, Denver Center. TV/Film: "As the World Turns," "One Live to Live," "Sexual Dependecy" and "New Brooklyn."

Mara Davi (Alice). Broadway: 'Irving Berlin's White Christma's (Judy), 'The Drowsy Chaperone' (Janet), 'A Chorus Line' (Maggie, Original Revival Cast). New York: 'Give Me Up' - Baryshnikov Center, 'No, No Nanette' (Nanette) and 'Of Thee I Sing' (Emily) at City Center Encores! Regional: Goodman Theatre, Old Globe, Sacramento Music Circus, Flat Rock Playhouse, The Ordway. Tour: '42nd Street.' Feature Film: "New Years Eve," "Musical Chairs," "Every Little Step."

Joy Hermalyn (Cora) Bway: 'Fiddler,' 'Cyrano,' 'Candide,' 'Christmas Carol,' Baz Luhrmann's 'La Boheme,' numerous 'Encores!' Regional: 'Sweeney Todd' (Mrs. Lovett), 'Gypsy' (Rose), 'Into the Woods' (Witch), 'Annie Get Your Gun' (Annie). London; 'Seven Deadly Sins' NYCB; 'Me & Miss Monroe' AMAS.

Jay Jaski (Lorenzo). Broadway/New York: 'Children' and 'Art' (Sondheim Tribute/New Amsterdam Theater), '9 to 5' (Broadway workshop & demo), 'Pamela's First Musical' (BC/EFA Town Hall), 'Ever After,' 'Mask,' 'Take Flight.' Off-Broadway/Regional: Public Theater, McCarter, Georgia Shakespeare.

Simon Jones (Dr. Dario Albione). Broadway: 'The Real Thing,' 'Benefactors,' 'School for Scandal,' 'Getting Married,' 'Private Lives,' 'The Real Inspector Hound,'' Herbal Bed,' 'Ring Round the Moon,' 'Waiting in the Wings,' 'Blithe Spirit' and (voice only) in '39 Steps.' Recent Off-Broadway includes 'Home' and 'The Cocktail Party.' Best-known among TV are: "Brideshead Revisited" ('Bridey') and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" ('Arthur Dent').

Rebecca Luker (Duchess Lamberti). Broadway: 'Mary Poppins,' 'Nine,' 'Music Man,' 'Sound of Music,' 'Showboat,' 'Secret Garden' and 'Phantom of the Opera.' Off Broadway: 'Indian Blood,' 'Vagina Monologues.' TV: "The Good Wife," "Cupid and Cate," "Law & Order: SVU" and "My Favorite Broadway."

Patricia Noonan (Sophia) is making her Roundabout debut! NYC: 'Where's Charley?' and 'Girl Crazy' (City Center Encores!), 'Signs of Life' (Lorelei) and 'Hurricane.' Regional: 'Carousel' (Julie Jordan/Barrington Stage), 'Sondheim at 80' (Soloist/Kennedy Center), 'Little House on the Prairi' (Guthrie Theatre), 'How to Succeed...' (Rosemary) and 'Ragtime' (Evelyn Nesbit).

Julian Ovenden (Prince Sirki / Death). Theatre includes 'Merrily We Roll Along,' 'Grand Hotel' (Donmar), 'Annie Get your Your Gun' (Young Vic), 'Marguerite,' 'A Woman of No Importance' (Haymarket), 'King Lear' (RSC) and 'Butley' on Broadway. TV: "Foyle's War," "The Royal," "The Forsyte Saga," "Any Human Heart," "Cashmere Mafia," "Related," "Charmed" and "A Christmas Carol."

Jill Paice (Grazia). Broadway: 'The 39 Steps,' 'Curtains,' 'Woman in White.' West End: 'Gone with the Wind' (Scarlett O'Hara), 'The Woman in White,' 'Night of 1000 Voices' (Royal Albert Hall). National Tour: 'Les Miserables,' Vegas: 'Mamma Mia!' (Sophie). Regional: 'Chess' (Florence) and 'Ace' (Elizabeth) - Signature Theatre, Curtains - Ahmanson. TV: "The Beautiful Life" and "The Wonderful Maladys."

Michael Siberry (Duke Lamberti). Theatre: 'Mrs Warrens Profession' (Roundabout), 'When the Rain Stops Falling' (Lincoln Centre ), 'Spamalot' (Tour & Broadway), 'Journey's End' ( London), 'The Frogs' (Lincoln Centre); 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (London), 'The White Devil' (Sydney Theatre Company at BAM), 'House and Garden' (National Theatre), 'Chicago' (London), 'The Sound Of Music' (Broadway) and 'Nicholas Nickleby' (RSC Broadway). Television includes: "Rosemary and Thyme," "The Grand," "Silent Witness" (BBC) and "Jeeves and Wooster."

Alexandra Socha (Daisy Fenton) can currently be seen as 'Rachel' in 'The Dream of The Burning Boy' at Roundabout Underground! Broadway: 'Spring Awakening' (Wendla), 'Brighton Beach Memoirs' (Nora). Regional: 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' (Merricat) at Yale Rep. TV: "The Big C" (Mia) and "White Collar."

Don Stephenson (Fidele). Broadway: 'The Producers' (Leo Bloom), 'Rock of Ages' (Hertz), 'Private Lives' (Victor), 'Dracula' (Renfield), 'Titanic' (Harold Bride/Charles), 'Parade' (Leo Frank), 'By Jeeves' (Bingo). Other:' Pardon My English' (City Center), '1776' (Paper Mill), 'Travesties' (Long Wharf), 'Where's Charley' (Kennedy Center), 'Two Gentleman of Verona' (Delacorte). Television: "Ugly Betty," "3 LBS," "Possible Side Effects," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," " Law & Order" and "Now and Again."

Max Von Essen (Corrado Montelli). Broadway: 'Les Misérables '(revival and closing company of original), 'Dance of the Vampires' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' Off-broadway: 'Hello Again,' 'Finian's Rainbow,' 'The Fantasticks' and 'The Jerry Springer Opera' (Carnegie Hall). National Tours: 'Xanadu' and 'Chicago.' TV/film: "The Beautiful Life," "Sex and the City 2" and "The Today Show."

Peter Stone (Book) has won four Tonys and six nominations. Broadway: 'Titanic,' '1776,' 'The Will Rogers Follies' and 'Woman of the Year' all won for best musical. His other Broadway musicals include 'My One and Only,' 'Sugar,' 'Two By Two,' 'Kean' and the Kander & Ebb musical 'Curtains.' He won an Academy Award for his screenplay 'Father Goose.'

Thomas Meehan (Book) won the 2003 Tony Award for co-writing the book for 'Hairspray' after having won the 2001 Tony Award for co-writing the book of 'The Producers.' He received his first Tony Award in 1977 for writing the book of 'Annie,' which was his first Broadway show, and he has since written books for the musicals 'I Remember Mam,' 'Ain't Broadway Grand,' 'Annie Warbucks' and the American version of 'Bombay Dreams.' His most recent works are the Broadway musical 'Young Frankenstein,' for which he co-wrote the book with Mel Brooks, 'Cry-Baby,' co-written with Mark O'Donnell, and 'Elf,' co-written with Bob Martin.

Maury Yeston (Music & Lyrics) in addition to winning his second Tony Award for Best Score for Broadway's 'Titanic' (which won five Tonys including Best Musical), Yeston won a Tony Award for his music and lyrics to Broadway's 'Nine' (based on Fellini's "8 ½"). That production won four additional Tonys, including Best Musical. The Broadway revival of 'Nine,' starring Antonio Banderas, won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Yeston's contribution to the score for Broadway's 'Grand Hotel' was nominated for a Tony, and the Donmar Warehouse London production of this show won the Olivier Award. His score for Phantom has received national and international acclaim and is currently in production across America and Europe and Japan.

Doug Hughes (Director) recent Broadway productions include 'The Royal Family,' 'Elling,' 'Oleanna,' 'A Man for All Seasons,' 'Mauritius,' 'Inherit the Wind,' 'A Touch of the Poet,' 'Frozen' and 'Doubt.' This is Hughes' eigth production with Roundabout Theatre, where he serves as the resident director. For his work on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Doubt' he received the 2005 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play.

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