Marriott casts Andrew Lloyd Webber premiere
BY HEDY WEISS THEATER CRITICfirstname.lastname@example.org December 18, 2012 6:18PM
Updated: December 20, 2012 12:07AM
The divas and divos are now all in alignment as the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire prepares for its world-premiere production of “Now and Forever: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” which begins previews Jan. 16, opens Jan. 23 and runs through March 17.
The show, a celebration of the musical theater songbook of the British master who has amassed a slew of megahits, will feature a cast of Broadway and Marriott favorites, young rising stars, concert dancers and musical theatre hoofers, all working to conjure the spirit of excerpts from such shows as “Evita,” “Cats,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Whistle Down the Wind,” “Joseph and the Amazing Tehnicolor Dreamcoat,” “Starlight Express” and “Sunset Boulevard.” Also part of the mix will be music from “The Phantom of the Opera” and its sequel, “Love Never Dies,” which has yet to play in North America.
Co-created by director-choreographer Marc Robin, a winner of 16 Jeff Awards, and Marriott’s lead artistic director, Aaron Thielen, “Now and Forever” will mark the return to Chicago of Broadway veteran and Marriott alumnae, Linda Balgord, who has been seen in such Lloyd Webber shows as “Cats,” “Sunset Boulevard” and ‘Aspects of Love.” Joining Balgord will be Erin Stewart, Susan Moniz, Stephanie Binetti, Max Quinlan (straight from the 25th anniversary national tour of “Les Miserables”), Ben Jacoby, Brian Bohr, Travis Taylor, Jameson Cooper and Matt Raftery.
The dance ensemble will feature Lauren Blane (Giordano Dance, “Shout”), Michael Darnell (Inaside Chicago Dance), Ellen Green (Royal Danish Ballet, Ballet Chicago), Monique Haley (River North Dance Chicago), Raymond Interior (Dance Alloy Theater, Winifred Haun and Dancers), Luke Manley (River North Dance Company, American Repertory Ballet), Sam Rogers (with Broadway and Marriott credits) and Melissa Zaremba (with Marriott and Radio City Rockette credits).
For tickets ($40-$48), call (847) 634-0200 or visit www.MarriottTheatre.com.