Congratulations to everyone – and my apologies for the long wait. I took a week to focus on my family in Florida. Now I’m back to focus on my theatre family!
This show is going to push every single one of you. Almost everyone is in a role that will ask them to do more than they have ever done in a musical. We will need to work hard and grow to be able to pull off this amazing show.
You will quickly notice that you have two “guest stars” joining you in the cast. I have asked Mrs. Newman to split the traditional role of Poppa with me. I will be playing Poppa’s central character while Mrs. Newman will be playing Control’s mom and the spirit engine Starlight Express (usually performed by the actor who plays Poppa.) I am always hesitant to take a role in a show I’m directing, but with our extreme shortage of men this year I decided to give it a try. Mrs. Newman and I absolutely love sharing the stage with you – and it gives us a chance to keep our performance skills sharp.
As usual, I have messed a bit with the characters to fit us better:
•Many characters originally played as male will be played by girls in our production. We will be playing them as female. It’s really not a problem since they are all trains and train cars anyway – not exactly gender-reliant. • I have also decided that Greaseball’s Gang will be comprised of box cars (in a salute to an earlier version of the show) instead of other diesel engines. This will allow the gang to be part of the freight numbers too. •In researching trains, I discovered the Baggage Cars. While not originally part of the Starlight Express characters, Baggage Cars are both part of a passenger train and carry freight. I am using these roles to perform with the passenger coaches in some numbers while also leaving the possibility of singing with freight in other places. My initial plan is to have these characters in similar costumes but in different colors. I plan to name you after the colors – my current thoughts are Rose, Emerald, Goldie, and Sky. •The Specialty Cars will be part of freight, but I wanted to represent the huge number of cool train cars that exist. Each of these performers will be something different. Currently I am considering the following cars: lumber, stock, circus, and tanker.
First rehearsal will be Monday, January 7, 6:00-8:30 PM – read-through/listen-through and beginning to learn music.
Have a Happy New Year!
STARLIGHT EXPRESS CAST LIST
BOY/CONTROL Hollis Correa MOTHER/STARLIGHT EXPRESS Eden Newman
RUSTY, a steam engine Ben Huggins ELECTRA, an electric engine Nathanael Peterson GREASEBALL, a diesel engine Daniel Cardis NINTENDO, a Japanese engine Miriam Kim RUHRGOLD, a German engine/HIP HOPPER (Act II) Sydney Williams TURNOV, a Russian engine Avery Hobbs PRINCE OF WALES, a British engine Bella Law POPPA, an old steam engine R. Andrew Strickland
THE PASSENGER TRAIN CARS
PEARL, the first-class car Abigail Dean DINAH, the dining car Hannah Ferguson DUVAY, the sleeping car Sydney Bishop BUFFY, the buffet car Ryann Perkins BAGGAGE CARS Claire Gardner, Ella Washburn, Alyssa Ranow, Faith Layton
PURSE, the money car/ENGINE Haley Harden JOULE, the dynamite car/ENGINE Jordan Wooten VOLTA, the freezer car/ENGINE Anna Mercer Willingham WRENCH, the repair car/ENGINE Kate Spivey
(The performers playing COMPONENTS will also be ENGINES in “Rolling Stock”.)
THE FREIGHT TRAIN CARS
RED CABOOSE Connor Moore HIP HOPPER 1 Kirstin Williams HIP HOPPER 2 Kyla Gay HIP HOPPER 3 Akoi Fumbah GREASEBALL’S GANG (BOX CARS) Aster Zang, Mei-Ling MiQwe, Ren Harden SPECIALTY CARS Julie Evans, Bella Baker, Grace Mancin, Allison Jordan DUSTIN, the big hopper Bennett Barkley FLAT TOP, the brick car Abby Tillery
THE RACE OFFICIALS
MARSHALS Tech Crew
by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe
Performances: March 7-9, 2019