I Took A Trip To The O'Neill Theater Center Last Night....

....and by the end of the evening wished I had visited the place more often this summer.

I went to catch "Superstar," the new musical being developed by composer Tom Kitt, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner for "Next To Normal." The script was by John Logan ("Red," "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers," the musical "The :Last Ship") and the cast featured the divine Kelli O'HJarra and James Snyder (Broadway's "If/Then," and a terrific Billyh Bigelow in Goodspeed Opera House's "Carousel."). Also featured were John Herrera and Kyle MacArthur isn the major role of the troubled son.

 Tom Kitt

Tom Kitt

 The terrific TheaterWorks production of Kitt's "Nest to Normal" earned the Connecticut Critics Circle award last month for outstanding musical production).

 TheaterWortks' Rob Ruggiero accepting for his theater's "Next to Normal"production 

TheaterWortks' Rob Ruggiero accepting for his theater's "Next to Normal"production 

Kitt also did the score to the Broadway musical "If/Then,and contributed songs to "Briing It On." He also is working of the music to a new musical based on the Mary Rodgers young adult book and subsequent films, "Freaky Friday." I still make a strong case for Kitt' "High Fidelity," based on the Nick Hornsby book and John Cussack film. Its a wonderful  work that didn;lt get to;'s fair shake when it made it to Broadway. (The production made a strategic error when it cast the very talented Will Chase who songs like a dream but was not right for the role. The show is ripe for re-discovery.

It was also the final summer when Paulette Haupt will be artistic director too there National Music Theatre Conference, a post she has held for 40 years. (Haupt was also honored at the Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, receiving the prestigious Tom Killen Award for a lifetime of service.) 

It was the final performance of the final show of the final season by Haupt and she was given a bouquet of flowers by executive director Preston Whiteway. It was a touching moment for Haupt and all in the audience as she spoke movingly of her experience at the O'Neill before returning to the work at hand: the presentation of yet another new musical.

 Pauletter Haupt

Pauletter Haupt

Suicceeding Haupt will be Alexander Gemignani. 

 Alexander Gemignani 

Alexander Gemignani 

"Superstar," as are all the show presented own a "staged treading" manner are not open to review.. But it was presented in front of a packed house filled with many theater industry folks there.  Jason Moore directed the staged reading.

Also featured in the cast were Erik Altemus, Phoenix Best, Kasie Gasparini, Francisco Gonzales, Danielle Lee Greaves, Mary Mattison and Dimitri Joseph Moise. 

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