The new musical “Water for Elephants” has scheduled a world-premiere staging at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre. Previews will begin on June 7 ahead of an opening night set for June 16. The production will play a limited engagement through July 9.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Sara Gruen, “Water for Elephants” follows Jacob Jankowski, a young man who hops onto a mysterious train only to find out he’s joined a traveling circus: the “Benzini Bros Most Spectacular Show on Earth.” When a ringmaster named August adds an elephant as the new star attraction, Jacob and August’s wife, Marlena, must train her. But as the pair get close, August’s possessive side rears its ugly head and threatens more than just Jacob’s safety.
Jessica Stone (currently represented on Broadway with “Kimberly Akimbo”) will direct the musical, which will feature a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice and a score by the songwriting group Pigpen Theatre Co. Elice, who is best known as the book writer of “Jersey Boys,” was just announced as a writer for the upcoming “Smash” stage musical.
The “Water for Elephants” cast will be led by Ryan Vasquez as Jacob, Bryan Fenkart as August, Isabelle McCalla as Marlena, Stan Brown as Camel, Joe De Paul as Walter, Sara Gettelfinger as Barbara, Tony nominee Harry Groener as Mr. Jankowski and Wade McCollum as Wade.
Rounding out the cast will be ensemble members Brandon Block, Antoine Boissereau, Paul Castree, Taylor Colleton, Isabella Luisa Diaz, Gabrielle Elisabeth, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nicolas Jelmoni, Caroline Kane, Joel Malkoff, Michael Mendez, Jo’Nathan Michael, Gabriel Olivera De Paula Costa, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar and Michelle West. The production was cast in association with Tara Rubin Casting.
“Water for Elephants” will feature circus design by Shana Carroll, choreography by Carroll and Jesse Robb, music direction by Matt Hinkley, orchestrations by Daryl Waters and music supervision/arrangements by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Benedict Braxton-Smith.
The production will have scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by David Israel Reynoso, lighting design by Tony winner Bradley King, sound design by Tony winner Jessica Paz, projection design by David Bengali, puppetry design by Camille Labarre and rigging design by Danny Zen. Timothy R. Semon will be the production stage manager.
The Alliance Theatre was the originating home of the Tony-nominated musical “The Prom.”