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Doctor Zhivago announces initial casting

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Producers of the new musical adaptation of Doctor Zhivago have now announced initial casting for the upcoming production.

The title role will be played by West End star Tam Mutu, who is about to star in the Donmar Warehouse's production of 'City of Angels' in London. He also played Javert in the West End production of 'Les Misérables,' and other credits include 'Love Never Dies,' 'Royal Hunt of the Sun,' 'Love's Labour's Lost,' 'East,' 'Romeo and Juliet,' 'King Lear,' and 'Chess.'

Kelli Barrett will take on the role of Lara Guishar. She is currently starring on Broadway as Nessarose in 'Wicked,' and has also appeared in 'The Royal Family' and 'Baby It's You!'

Tom Hewitt will play Viktor Komarovsky. He earned a Tony nomination in 2001 for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Frank 'N' Furter in 'The Rocky Horror Show.' Other Broadway credits include 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' 'Chicago,' 'Dracula: The Musical,' 'The Boys from Syracuse,' 'The Lion King,' 'School for Scandal,' and 'The Sisters Rosenzweig.'

Paul Nolan will take on the role of Pasha Antipov. He is currently appearing on Broadway as Guy in 'Once' and also played Jesus in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in 2012's revival.

Further casting for the Broadway production will be announced in the coming months.

Doctor Zhivago will begin previews at the Broadway Theatre on 27 March 2015, before officially opening on 21 April 2015. It will initially be booking through to 6 March 2016.

This new musical adaptation of the story is directed by Des McAnuff and features a book by Michael Weller, music by Lucy Simon and lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers.

Synopsis: "Based on the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak, the romance is set during the final days of Czarist Russia and follows Zhivago (Mutu), a political idealist, physician and poet. His life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his devoted wife, Tonia Gromeko and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar (Barrett). Zhivago is not alone in his yearnings for Lara, competing for her affections with the young revolutionary Pasha Antipov (Nolan) and the aristocrat Viktor Komarovsky (Hewitt). The story is perhaps best known from its acclaimed 1965 film version, which famously starred Omar Sharif and Julie Christie."

The musical first premiered as 'Zhivago' at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 2006. A heavily revised version under the title 'Doctor Zhivago - A New Musical' opened at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, Australia in 2011 under under the direction of Tony Award winner Des McAnuff. The cast included Anthony Warlow as Yuri Zhivago, Lucy Maunder as Lara, Taneel Van Zyl as Tonia and Martin Crewes as Pasha.

The creative team behind Doctor Zhivago features choreography by Kelly Devine, scenic design by Michael Scott-Mitchell, costumes by Tony nominee Paul Tazewell, lighting by Tony winner Howell Binkley, sound design by Tony winner Steve Canyon Kennedy, projections by Sean Nieuwenhuis, orchestrations by Danny Troob, music arrangements by Eric Stern and musical supervision by Ron Melrose.

Doctor Zhivago is produced on Broadway by Anita Waxman, Tom Dokton, Latitude Link, Ted Hartley/RKO Stage and Chunsoo Shin, with Joe Corcoran, J. Todd Harris, The Pelican Group, John Frost, and Junkyard Dog Productions.

- by Tom Millward

Tam Mutu

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