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Roundabout announces THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE starring Donna Murphy

Roundabout Theatre Company

in association with Tracy Aron

Announces

Two Time Tonyâ Award Winner

Donna Murphy

will star in the new Broadway musical

The People in the Picture

Book & Lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart

Music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler

Musical Direction by Paul Gemignani

Musical Staging by Andy Blankenbuehler

Directed by Leonard Foglia

Click here for a Q&A with Artistic Director Todd Haimes about the production.

Previews begin April 1st, 2011 with the official opening set for Thursday, April 28th, 2011

on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre

______________________________________________________________________________

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director), in association with

Tracy Aron, is thrilled to announce two time Tony® Award-winner Donna Murphy will star in the new Broadway musical THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE, directed by Leonard FogliaTHE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE features book & lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart and music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler.

Performances of THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE will begin on Friday, April 1st, 2011 on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre (227 West 42nd Street) with the official opening set for Thursday, April 28th, 2011. The limited engagement is scheduled to run through June 19th, 2011.

This New York premiere production comes from the author of the international best seller Beaches, Iris Rainer Dart, with a glorious score by Mike Stoller (Smokey Joe’s Café) and Artie Butler (Louis Amstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”).

Once the darling of the Yiddish Theatre in pre-war Poland, now a grandmother in New York City, Bubbie has had quite a life. But what will it all mean if she can’t pass on her stories to the next generation? Though her granddaughter is enchanted by her tales, her daughter Red will do anything to keep from looking back. A fiercely funny and deeply moving new musical that spans three generations, THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE celebrates the importance of learning from our past, and the power of laughter.

The creative team includes Paul Gemignani (Musical Direction), Andy Blankenbuehler (Musical Staging), Riccardo Hernandez (Sets), Ann Hould-Ward (Costumes), Howell Binkley (Lights), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound), Elaine J. McCarthy (Projections) & Paul Huntley (Hair & Wigs).

Additional creative team members and the full company will be announced shortly.

Ticket Information:

Only Roundabout subscribers have first access to tickets!  To join Roundabout visit www.roundabouttheatre.org or call Roundabout Ticket Services (212) 719-9393.

Tickets go on sale to the general public January 2011.  Tickets range from $72.00 – $122.00.

Performance Schedule Information:

THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00PM with a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2:00PM.

Biographies

DONNA MURPHY (Raisel/Bubbie).  Award winning actress-singer Donna Murphy has been building a career of striking range and diversity in the theater and on the large and small screens. This “seductive actress of major transformative powers” (New York Times) has impressed both critics and audiences with her depth and skill. This year she treads new ground in her first animated film, voicing one of the leading characters, Mother Gothel, in Disney’s Tangled, also starring Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, with a score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. The film opens on Nov. 24, 2010. Currently filming a leading role in award winning filmmaker Todd Solondz’ Dark Horse, also starring Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Selma Blair, she recently completed work in the highly anticipated directorial debut of Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga, Higher Ground. Ms. Murphy received the first of two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical, along with the Drama Desk and Drama League Awards, for her spellbinding creation of Fosca in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Passion, garnering critical acclaim when it was broadcast on PBS’s American Playhouse. She was awarded her second Tony and Drama League Awards, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her elegant and distinctive performance as Anna Leonowans in the 1996 Tony Award winning revival of The King and I. In 2004, she was honored with the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Awards, the Drama League Outstanding Achievement Award for her work in Musical Theater, as well as another Tony nomination, for her hilarious tour de force as Ruth Sherwood in the Broadway Revival of Wonderful Town, a role she originated at City Center’s Encores! Series. In 2007 she returned to Broadway at Manhattan Theater Club’s Biltmore Theater as the legendary actress singer Lotte Lenya, in the world premiere of LoveMusik, directed by Harold Prince.  She received her third Drama Desk Award, and second Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical, as well as a Drama League Award and a Tony nomination for this mesmerizing performance. Earlier that season Murphy received raves for her portrayal of Phyllis Stone in City Center’s Encores!’ production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies. That summer, Variety named her one of three “Legit Luminaries” in their Women’s Impact Issue.  This past April, she lit up the stage at City Center Encores again, with her performance as Mayoress Cora Hooper in Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ Anyone Can Whistle, once again thrilling theatergoers and critics, prompting Ben Brantley of the NY Times to call her “perhaps the most sophisticated practitioner of musical comedy alive today.” Ms. Murphy studied with the legendary Stella Adler, and at the Lee Strasberg Institute, and attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  She made her professional debut, after being cast from an open call, in Neil Simon’s hit They’re Playing Our Song, and went on to create memorable characters in comedies, dramas and musicals on and off Broadway, and in theaters across the country.  These credits include Edwin Drood in the Broadway production of Rupert Holmes Drood, James Lapine’s Twelve Dreams, and Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again at Lincoln Center Theater (Drama Desk nominations), Song of Singapore (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Peter Nichol’s Privates of Parade at the Roundabout Theater Co., Strindberg’s Miss Julie (McCarter Theater),  and the title character of Tony Kushner’s production of Ellen MacLaughlin’s Helen, for the New York Shakespeare Festival (Drama League Award). She also starred in the World Premiere of Pamela’s First Musical, by Wendy Wasserstein, Cy Coleman and David Zippel, at Town Hall, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Theater Development Fund’s OPEN DOORS Program. Ms. Murphy’s film credits include: The Nanny Diaries, World Trade Center, The Fountain, Spiderman 2, The Door in the Floor, Center Stage, Star Trek: Insurrection, The Astronaut’s Wife, and Jade . Ms. Murphy’s first television film, HBO’s Someone Had to be Benny, earned her a Cable Ace Award as Best Actress in a Drama Special or Series, as well as a Daytime Emmy. Other TV work includes : TNT’s Trust Me, ABC’s What About Joan, Showtime’s political drama The Last Debate , Mary Todd Lincoln in The Day Lincoln Was Shot (TNT), Francesca Cross on Stephen Bochco’s Murder One (ABC), Leonard Bernstein’s New York and Abigail Adams in Liberty! for PBS, the 2000 and 2002 Kennedy Center Honors (CBS) and guest appearances on Ugly Betty ,Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order SVU, Damages, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, CSI, Law & Order, The Practice, Ally McBeal, This November, she is featured in the PBS Broadcast of Sondheim: The Birthday Concert, filmed live this past March. A versatile singer, she can be heard on a number of recordings including Lovemusik (Ghostlight), Wall to Wall Sondheim (Symphony Space), Wonderful Town (DRG), Leonard Bernstein’s New York (Nonesuch), Hello Again (RCA Victor), The King and I (Varese Sarabande) and the Grammy Award winning Passion (Angel). For her contribution to the Arts, Culture and Public life, she’s received special honors from New York Magazine, Symphony Space, Greenwich Village’s Caring Community, the Women’s Project, The Little Orchestra Society, Irish America Magazine, the Breukelein Institute and Emerson College. Ms. Murphy donates her time and efforts to a number of organizations, including the Worldwide Orphan’s Foundation, the All Stars Project providing Arts education and programs for inner city youth, Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, and The Actors Fund.

 

LEONARD FOGLIA (Director). Broadway: Thurgood also Kennedy Center and Geffen Playhouse, LA; On Golden Pond also Kennedy Center and National tour; Wait Until DarkMaster Class, also Kennedy Center, National Tour, London’s West End. Opera: Moby Dick (Dallas Opera); Dead Man Walking (NYC Opera, Opera Pacific, Cincinnati, Detroit, etc.); The End of the Affair (Houston Grand, Seattle and Madison Opera). Three Decembers (Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Opera Theater). Off Broadway:  Let Me Down Easy (Second Stage); The Stendhal Syndrome (Primary Stages) One Touch of Venus (City Center) If Memory Serves (Promenade, Pasadena Playhouse); By the Sea (MTC, Bay Street); Lonely Planet (Circle Rep). Regional: Let Me Down Easy (Zack Theater), Unusual Acts of Devotion (Philadelphia Theater Company), Distracted (Mark Taper), Things Being What They Are (Bay Street) Paper Doll, The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn (Pittsburgh Public), Thurgood (Westport Playhouse), The Subject Was Roses (Kennedy Center), Southern Comforts (Coconut Grove), Seascape, A Coffin in Egypt, The Woman in Black (Bay Street), God’s Man in Texas, Dinner with Friends (The Old Globe Theatre), Dreamland (Sharon Stage) Revelers (NYS&F). He is co-author, with David Richards, of the mystery novels 1 Ragged Ridge Road, Face Down in the Dark, El Sudario – and its sequel: La Sangre Del Sudario.

IRIS RAINER DART (Book & Lyrics). Iris Rainer Dart is a best-selling novelist of nine novels, notably Beaches, which was made into a film starring Bette Midler.  She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where her father was a social worker at the Irene Kaufman Settlement in the Hill District. Iris appeared as a child on the stage of the Curtaineers, the first inter-racial theater group at the Settlement house. She went on to attend classes at the Pittsburgh Playhouse from the time she was six, and was a child actress at both the Pittsburgh Playhouse and The White Barn Theater.  Iris received her degree in theater from the drama department at Carnegie Mellon University, where she won the BMI awards for the libretto and lyrics she wrote for the varsity musical with composer Stephen Schwartz.  After moving to Los Angeles, Iris was a member of the Columbia Pictures contract workshop. In the 70s, Producer George Schlatter hired her to be the first woman writer on “The Sonny and Cher Show.” She went on to work in both situation comedy, and long-form television before she turned to writing novels. Iris was a Governor’s appointee to the California Arts Council on which she served for eight years. She was also the commencement speaker at her alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University.  It says in the Talmud that “A man is known by his laughter.” Iris’s own childhood, imbued with the humor of the Yiddish culture, was what inspired her to write The People in the Picture.

MIKE STOLLER (Music). Mike Stoller is one-half of the legendary songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller. Together with Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller has been writing songs for almost sixty years. Not content to be confined to one musical style, they have created enduring classics in a variety of genres including Rhythm & Blues, Pop, Country, Jazz, Cabaret, and – perhaps most notably – Rock & Roll. If Elvis Presley was the king of Rock & Roll, then Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were certainly two of the most important powers behind that throne. It’s impossible to think of Elvis without thinking of “Hound Dog,” “Loving You,” or “Jailhouse Rock” – all creations from the pen and piano of Leiber and Stoller. To carry the analogy a step further, the court jesters of the Rock & Roll kingdom would have to be The Coasters. Leiber and Stoller wrote and produced all of The Coasters’ hits, including “Searchin’,” “Young Blood,” “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown,” “Along Came Jones,” “Poison Ivy,” and “Little Egypt.” But Elvis and The Coasters are only two of the acts whose careers skyrocketed because of Leiber and Stoller’s creative partnership. Mike and Jerry began their partnership in 1950 at the age of 17 when they discovered that they had a mutual passion for Boogie Woogie and the Blues. By the time they were 20, Leiber and Stoller had seen their earliest songs recorded by such artists as Jimmy Witherspoon, Little Esther, Amos Milburn, Charles Brown, Little Willie Littlefield, Bull Moose Jackson, Linda Hopkins, Ray Charles, and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. Leiber and Stoller’s series of hits as both songwriters and record producers began with Big Mama Thornton’s recording of “Hound Dog” in 1953. This record and others produced by them caught the attention of executives from Atlantic Records. In 1955, Atlantic signed Leiber and Stoller to the first independent production deal, forever changing the course of the record industry. Leiber and Stoller’s songs and productions were constantly on the charts during the next decade. Aside from The Coasters’ many hits, there were Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” and “I (Who Have Nothing)”; The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby,” “Dance With Me,” and “On Broadway”; as well as La Vern Baker’s recording of “Saved” and Ruth Brown’s “Lucky Lips.” During this same period, while Leiber and Stoller were producing The Clovers (“Love Potion # 9”), Jay and the Americans (“Only In America”), and Chuck Jackson (“I Keep Forgettin’”), other artists were having hits with Leiber and Stoller compositions.  There was Wilbert Harrison with “Kansas City,” The Drifters with “Ruby Baby” and “Fools Fall In Love,” Peggy Lee with “I’m A Woman,” and Edith Piaf with “L’Homme a la Moto.” Elvis Presley recorded more than twenty songs written by Leiber and Stoller, including “Hound Dog,” “Love Me,” “Loving You,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Treat Me Nice,” “Don’t,” “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care,” “Bossa Nova Baby,” “Santa Claus Is Back In Town,” and “Trouble.” In 1969, the team produced the Peggy Lee recording of their composition “Is That All There Is?” According to music critic Robert Palmer, “Is That All There Is?” was the song that “…clearly pointed to the direction their new work would take.”  It was this change in the creative style of Leiber and Stoller that prompted Palmer to write “…the Golden Age of Rock & Roll had come to an end.” Leiber and Stoller have been the recipients of many awards and honors, including the following: 1985 – Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame; 1987 – Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; 1994 – Their star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame & their handprints imbedded into the Hollywood Rockwalk; 1995 – Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album, Smokey Joe’s Café; 2000 – Johnny Mercer Award (National Academy of Popular Music); 2000 – Ivor Novello International Songwriters Award; 2005 – World Soundtrack Award, Flanders International Film Festival. In March of 1995, Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber & Stoller opened on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. Comprised of forty songs by L&S, the show was nominated for seven Tony Awards. Smokey Joe’s Cafe would remain at the Virginia Theatre for over five years, becoming the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. The show also played London’s West End for two years, and has toured around the world. In 2009, Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography was published by Simon & Schuster. In 2010, Leiber and Stoller will celebrate their 60th anniversary as a songwriting team.

ARTIE BUTLER (Music). Artie Butler was born in Brooklyn, NY. As a teenager he was discovered by the legendary songwriting and producing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. He was hired to replace a pianist for a recording session and as they say… “the rest is history.” Artie has been involved in every phase of the music industry, arranging, composing, producing, supervising, and playing. He has arranged over seventy-five hit records and played on many other recordings as well. He has been awarded over fifty gold and platinum records. His featured piano work and arrangement on the recording of “Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker remains a true classic in American pop music and rock and roll. Artie’s song “Here’s To Life” has become a standard. In 1990 it was recorded by Shirley Horn and was on the jazz charts for one year. In 2009 it was recorded by “Barbra Streisand on her #1 CD “Love Is The Answer.” He received a Grammy nomination for his arrangement of “I Know I”ll Never Love This Way Again” for Dionne Warwick. He is a three time Emmy nominee, including his nomination for his outstanding work as composer/arranger, and music supervisor on the CBS mini-series “Sinatra” based on the life of Frank Sinatra. A small sampling of Artie’s associations includes such classic recordings as “Copacabana,” “Even Now,” and “Can’t Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow, “Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker, “Sally Go ‘Round The Roses” by the Jaynets, “Solitary Man” and “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond, “I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again” by Dionne Warwick, “Neither One Of Us Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye” by Gladys Knight & The Pips, “The Boy From New York City” by The Ad-libs, “Laughter In The Rain” by Neil Sedaka, “You And Me Against The World” by Helen Reddy, “Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere and The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay, “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence, “Society’s Child” by Janis Ian, “Arizona” by Mark Lindsay, etc. Artie has worked with the best of the best – Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Bernadette Peters, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Liza Minelli, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee, B.B. King, Count Basie & His Orchestra, Joe Cocker, Neil Diamond, Sammy Davis Jr., Natalie Cole, Neil Sedaka, The Fifth Dimension, Lou Rawls, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Johnny Mathis, Billy Preston, Julio Iglesias, Bobby Darin, Dinah Washington, Shirley Bassey, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tony Orlando, Tom Jones, Nancy Wilson, Andy Williams, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Eartha Kitt, O.C. Smith, Carol Burnett, Anne Murray, Dusty Springfield, Stephen Bishop, Al Hirt, Joe Williams, Errol Garner, Roger Williams, Van Morrison, Rita Coolidge, Stan Getz and many others. Some of his work for film includes “What’s Up Doc?” with Barbra Streisand for Warner Brothers “The Rescuers” – Animated Feature – Walt Disney Pictures “For Pete’s Sake” – Barbra Streisand – Columbia Pictures. He has worked extensively with the great artists of the Golden Era of Rock ‘n’ Roll – the 50’s and 60’s. Paul Anka, Ben E King, The Shangri-Las, Jackie Wilson, Connie Francis, Jay & The Americans, Dion & The Belmonts, Chubby Checker, The Coasters, The Drifters, The Shirelles, The Tokens, The Exciters, Solomon Burke, The Crystals, The Platters, The Ronnettes, etc. He is also extremely well known for his wonderful sense of humor. Like many musical talents from New York, Artie Butler started in the famous Brill Building. He has made some of the most significant contributions to that fabled and historic time in American pop music.

TRACY ARON. Broadway: Spring Awakening, Lovemusik, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life.  Prior devoted herself to humanitarian work including addressing the genocide in Kosova.  Devotes each summer to co-running the Diller-Quaille Summer music program which has provided a rich musical experience for countless children in Harlem.

Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout’s mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout’s Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; and the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season features George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession starring Cherry Jones & Sally Hawkins, directed by Doug Hughes; Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, adapted and directed by Emma Rice; Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still, directed by Sam Gold; Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, directed by Mark Brokaw; Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring and directed by Brian Bedford; Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore starring Olympia Dukakis, directed by Michael Wilson; Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster & Joel Grey, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall; David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy, directed by Evan Cabnet and Stoller, Butler & Dart’s The People in the Picture, starring Donna Murphy, directed by Leonard Foglia.  Roundabout’s sold out production of The 39 Steps made its third transfer to the New World Stages after a successful Broadway run at three Broadway theatres.

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