Ghostlight Records has announced it will record a cast album of the new musical Alice By Heart. The show’s current New York premiere production from MCC Theater (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, William Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) was recently extended through April 7. Alice By Heart has a book by Steven Sater and Jessie Nelson; music by Duncan Sheik, lyrics by Steven Sater, and direction by Jessie Nelson. Choreography is by Rick and Jeff Kuperman. The album – produced by Duncan Sheik and Kurt Deutsch, with Craig Balsam and Cody Lassen serving as executive producers – is being recorded March 24-25.
The cast features Molly Gordon (Life of the Party, “Animal Kingdom”) as Alice and Colton Ryan (Girl From the North Country, “The Americans”) as Alfred/The White Rabbit, along with Kim Blanck (Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park), Mia DiLena (Disney’s The Music Man), Zachary Downer (Hello, Dolly!, Cats), Noah Galvin (Dear Evan Hansen, “The Real O’Neals”), Zachary Infante (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dir. Julie Taymor), Andrew Kober (School of Rock, Hair), Grace McLean (Great Comet), Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (“Bull,” “SMILF”), Catherine Ricafort (SpongeBob Squarepants, Honeymoon in Vegas), Heath Saunders (Great Comet, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”), and Wesley Taylor (Spongebob Squarepants, The Addams Family).
The creative team for Alice By Heart includes scenic design by Edward Pierce, costume design by Paloma Young, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, hair, wig and makeup design by J. Jared Janas, orchestrations by Duncan Sheik, additional orchestrations by Simon Hale, music direction and vocal arrangements by Jason Hart. The Production Stage Manager is Davin De Santis and the Stage Manager is Jason Pacella.
Alice By Heart began performances on January 30 as the first show in the Newman Mills Theater at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space (511 West 52nd Street), with its official opening night on February 26.
When the madness of the world is too much to bear, we take refuge in the stories we love. Tony® and Grammy® award-winning creators of Spring Awakening, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, reunite for their new musical Alice By Heart, inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and directed and co-written by Jessie Nelson (Waitress). In the rubble of the London Blitz of World War II, Alice Spencer’s budding teen life is turned upside down, and she and her dear friend Alfred are forced to take shelter in an underground tube station. When the ailing Alfred is quarantined, Alice encourages him to escape with her into their cherished book and journey down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. As they travel through the tale, Alice By Heart explores the poignancy of first love, coming to terms with loss, and finding the courage to move forward. This world premiere musical encourages us all to celebrate the transformational power of the imagination, even in the harshest of times.
Tickets are on sale now at mcctheater.org. A workshop production of Alice by Heart was presented by New York Stage and Film & Vassar at the Powerhouse Theater, Summer 2018. Developed at Theatre Aspen’s New Work Development Program.
Duncan Sheik: Performer/Composer. Theatre credits include: Spring Awakening (2006) Tony Awards for “Best Original Score” and “Best Orchestrations,” 2008 Grammy Award for “Best Musical Show Album,” Because of Winn-Dixie (Alabama Shakespeare Festival 2017, Delaware Theatre Company 2015), Whisper House (London 2017, Old Globe Theater 2011), American Psycho (2016), The Secret Life of Bees (upcoming 2019), Nero (Another Golden Rome) (currently in development), The Nightingale (currently in development), Noir (currently in development). Recordings include: American Psycho (Original London Cast Recording 2016), Legerdemain (2015), Covers 80s (Sneaky Records 2011), Whisper House (Sony 2009), Spring Awakening (Original Broadway Cast Recording 2006), White Limousine (Rounder 2006), Daylight (Atlantic Records 2002), Phantom Moon (Nonesuch 2001), Humming (Atlantic Records 1998), Duncan Sheik (Grammy nomination “Best Male Vocal,” RIAA Certified Gold) (Atlantic Records 1996).
Steven Sater: Musicals include: Spring Awakening (Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Grammy Awards); The Nightingale (La Jolla Playhouse, NY Stage and Film); Alice by Heart (National Theatre of London: Connections); Prometheus Bound (music by Serj Tankian, A.R.T.); Some Lovers (music by Burt Bacharach, The Old Globe, The Other Palace, Upcoming, Adirondack Theatre Festival); Nero (Magic Theatre, NY Stage and Film). Plays: Carbondale Dreams; Perfect for You, Doll (Rosenthal Prize); Arms on Fire (Steppenwolf New Play Prize, Chester Theatre, NY Stage and Film), A Footnote to the Iliad (NY Stage and Film); Shakespeare’s Tempest (London’s Lyric Hammersmith); No One’s Sonata (Eugene O’Neill Theatre); New York Animals (Bedlam Theatre Co.).
Jessie Nelson began her career with Mabou Mines at the Public Theater. An unexpected left turn led her to film where she wrote, directed, and produced Corrina Corrina, I Am Sam and To The Moon Alice. She directed Love The Coopers and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Her writing credits include Stepmom and The Story of Us. She produced Fred Claus and Danny Collins. Brought back to her first love, theater, Jessie wrote the Broadway musical Waitress with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. She directed the workshop of Alice By Heart at the National Theater’s Connections Program. She has been the Artistic Director of the Sundance Writers Lab. She wrote the children’s book Labracadabra.
Rick and Jeff Kuperman. Recent choreography highlights include Cyrano (Goodspeed, starring Peter Dinklage and Haley Bennett), a NYE performance for Phish (Madison Square Garden), The Count of Monte Cristo (Saint Petersburg, Russia), Broadway Asia’s immersive Peter Pan (Beijing, China), Orpheus in the Berkshires (Williamstown Theater Festival), and The Light Princess (A.R.T./New Victory, NY Times Critics’ Pick). As directors: SMILE (FringeNYC), Roll! (Ars Nova), The 39 Steps (PST), and Dispossessed (HERE). Their film work has screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, HollyShorts, and online on Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and The Huffington Post. The brothers are third degree black belts in Kenpo Karate, experienced fight directors, and grads of Harvard and Princeton. kupermanbrothers.com
MCC THEATER is one of New York’s leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater’s programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students. MCC Theater’s celebrated productions include Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike; Robert Askins’ Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really; Sharr White’s The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott’s The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Happy, reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller’s Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride; Bryony Lavery’s Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson’s Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, and Ride the Cyclone. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world. Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC began production in January, 2019 in its new home in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, unifying the company’s activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming.
GHOSTLIGHT RECORDS has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings – building a library of over 200 records over the past 19 years, featuring some of the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway’s brightest stars. Founded by Grammy Award winner Kurt Deutsch, Ghostlight has won Grammy Awards for The Band’s Visit, The Book of Mormon, In the Heights and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Ghostlight has also released solo albums from Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Sutton Foster, Billy Porter, and more. The label continues to support the new generation of musical theater composers and has developed extensive relationships with Jason Robert Brown, Michael John LaChiusa, and David Yazbek, as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pasek & Paul, Tom Kitt, Joe Iconis, and Shaina Taub. Ghostlight Records is part of the Arts Music division at Warner Music Group.