Saint Paul, Minnesota (September 27, 2023) — The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is delighted to announce the cast of Behind the Curtain: Ever After in Concert, October 6-7. This special event will kick off the Ordway’s 2023-2024 season and give audiences an exclusive look at the latest songs from a musical in development, Ever After, based on the 1998 film starring Drew Barrymore.
“It’s a rare opportunity for theater lovers to experience the songs of a musical in development, and the Ordway is thrilled to be able to present it,” said Ordway President and CEO Chris Harrington. “We believe that Ever After will one day be a hit musical, and Ordway audiences will always be able to say they were among the first to be a part of it.”
The cast of singers includes stars of stages and screen. Erika Henningsen, who originated the starring role of Cady Heron in the hit musical, Mean Girls, will portray Danielle de Barbarac in the concert event. Jason Gotay, who starred as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark and Rafa Caparros in HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot, will portray Henry. David Garrison, best known as Steve Rhoades on Married With Children, will portray Leonardo da Vinci.
During this special concert event, the music will take audiences through the story of Danielle de Barbarac as she risks everything to save a friend from an unjust fate, capturing the heart and imagination of a country along the way. With the help of none other than Leonardo da Vinci, Danielle must decide who she is, what she’ll fight for, and how far she’ll go for love.
The concert will include music by Zina Goldrich and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, and direction by Marlo Hunter. The musical in development features a book by Kate Wetherhead. In addition to a cast of four Broadway singers, the show will also include comments from members of the creative team and music from a local 14-piece orchestra and the three-time Grammy Award® winning Sounds of Blackness, a vocal and instrumental ensemble based in the Twin Cities. There will also be post-show talkbacks with members of the cast and creative team.
Erika Henningsen is a Bay Area native and is most known for originating the starring role of Cady Heron in the hit, Tony Award® nominated musical, Mean Girls. She was reunited with Tina Fey when she went on to recur as Young Gloria on Peacock’s acclaimed series, “Girls5Eva.” Other theater credits include Fantine opposite Ramin Karimloo in the recent revival of Les Miserables. She originated the title role of Joy in the musical adaptation, based on the life of Joy Managano, which premiered at the George Street Playhouse. Other roles: Nellie Forbush in South Pacific & Sophie in Mamma Mia! (PCLO), Nina in the Dear World opposite Tyne Daly. Her solo show, Raise Your Standards has played to sold out venues in New York City & San Francisco. Additional TV credits include CBS All Access’ “Blue Bloods,” HBO’s “That Damn Michael Che” and Tracy Oliver’s original comedy, “Harlem,” for Amazon. She can be heard as the leading voice actor in Apple’s upcoming musical animation series, “Hazbin Hotel.”
Jason Gotay recently performed his autobiographical solo show “Where You’ll Find Me” at the Minetta Lane Theater (available on Audible). He made his Broadway debut in the original company of Bring It On: The Musical written by Lin Manuel-Miranda, Tom Kitt, Amanda Green and Jeff Whitty, nominated for the Tony Award® for Best Musical. Other Broadway/New York credits include Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, Che in New York City Center’s acclaimed revival of Evita, Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam and Transport Group’s Renascence written by Carmel Dean and Dick Scanlan. He has appeared in the world premieres of Stephen Schwartz’s The Prince of Egypt, Disney’s Freaky Friday and A Bronx Tale, as well as NBC’s Peter Pan Live! He most recently starred in HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” reboot, and has performed solo acts at NYC’s Green Room 42, Le Poisson Rouge, Soho House and Tavern on the Green.
David Garrison is best known as Steve Rhoades on “Married With Children,” and for recurring roles on “The West Wing,” “The Practice,” and “Law and Order.” His Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine (Tony Award® nomination), Wicked (Carbonell Award), Titanic, The Visit, The Great Society, The Pirates of Penzance, Torch Song Trilogy, I Do! I Do! (Drama Desk nomination), The Cradle Will Rock, Dead Poets Society, Geniuses, Middletown, New Jerusalem, Silence! The Musical, The Torch Bearers, It’s Only a Play and By the Way Meet Vera Stark. He received a Helen Hayes Award for Merrily We Roll Along (Arena Stage), and played the Devil in the world premiere of Randy Newman’s Faust (La Jolla/Goodman). Opera: Die Fledermaus (Santa Fe Opera), Candide (Glimmerglass). For PBS Great Performances, he was featured in “On the Town with the London Symphony” and “Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall.”
Sounds of Blackness
Jazz, blues, spirituals, rock & roll, R&B, gospel, hip hop, and soul—these are the Sounds of Blackness! Sounds of Blackness has performed for kings, queens, presidents and ambassadors at concert halls, colleges, schools, corporations and festivals all over the world. Appearances include the Olympics, the World Cup, Ryder's Cup, the NFL, NBA, MLB, Grammy Awards®, Denver Summit of 8, the NAACP National Convention and the Super Bowl. They have performed with Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Sting, Prince, Elton John, Maya Angelou, Usher, Harry Belafonte, Aloe Black, Common, John Legend and many more. Sounds of Blackness has won Image, Soul Train, International Time For Peace, Stellar and three Grammy Awards®. Their life-changing Top 10 single and video “Royalty" was also nominated for two Image and two Stellar Awards.
Music by Zina Goldrich Lyrics by Marcy Heisler Book by Kate Wetherhead Directed by Marlo Hunter
Zina Goldrich is an award-winning composer, conductor, musical director and performing artist. Her romantic comedy and theatre songs have been sung around the world by Broadway stars including Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Megan Hilty, Sierra Boggess and Alan Cumming. She won the 2009 Fred Ebb Award for excellence in songwriting with longtime collaborator, Marcy Heisler. Their musical, Ever After, enjoyed a sold-out run and was the first production on the brand-new Coca Cola Stage at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Current projects include a new musical, Yay, People Yay! with multi-Emmy Award® winning writer, David Javerbaum, and Hollywood Romance with Emmy Award® winning book writers Gabrielle Allan and Jen Crittenden. Other Goldrich and Heisler collaborations include Dear Edwina (Drama Desk Nomination-Best Music) and Junie B. Jones (Lucille Lortel Nomination) which ran successfully Off-Broadway, as well as Goodspeed’s The Great American Mousical, directed by Julie Andrews. Goldrich was a staff songwriter for Walt Disney Feature Animation. On television, she has composed for ABC’s The Middle, Wonderpets, Johnny and the Sprites, Pooh’s Learning Adventures and Peg + Cat, on PBS. She has played keyboards on Broadway for Avenue Q, Bombay Dreams, Oklahoma! and and Titanic, where she also conducted. She studied with legendary Oscar winner Jerry Goldsmith and is a proud graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) Scoring for Motion Picture and Television program.
Marcy Heisler is a Drama Desk-nominated lyricist. She received the 2012 Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyrics, and was the co-recipient of the Fred Ebb Award with longtime composing partner Zina Goldrich. She is currently working on lyrics for Williamsburg (workshopped at NYSF) with Pulitzer and Tony Award® winner Tom Kitt and Emmy Award® winning writer Jason Katims. Regional Productions include Ever After (Paper Mill Playhouse and Alliance Theatre), Auntie Claus (Nashville Children’s Theatre), The Great American Mousical (Goodspeed) and others. Off-Broadway book writing credits include Dear Edwina (Daryl Roth Productions), Junie B Jones and Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School (TWUSA). Her special material standards include “Taylor, The Latte Boy” (Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming), “Alto’s Lament,” (Megan Hilty) and “Fifteen Pounds” (Stephanie J. Block). She is also an award-winning performer who performs her work with fellow artists in concerts everywhere from Carnegie Hall to 54 Below to Hollywood’s Catalina Jazz. She signed with Concord Publishing, and an anthology of her songs (with composer Goldrich) is available from Hal Leonard. Other awards include ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers New Horizon Award, Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, Jamie De Roy and Friends Award, a Seldes-Kanin Fellowship and an Artist-in Residency at Second Stage. TV/film songwriting credits include The Middle (ABC), Julie’s Green Room (Netflix), Johnny and the Sprites (Disney Channel) and The D Show Theme (Disney Interactive). For Disney KIDS, she adapted and provided additional lyrics to Jungle Book, Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians and Sleeping Beauty. She earned a B.A. from New York University with High Honors in Dramatic Writing. Prior to NYU, she studied Theatre at Northwestern University, and is a proud Dramatists Guild and ASCAP member. As an educator, she is on the faculty of the Dramatist Guild institute, helms a creative blockbusting workshop both in NYC and online, and most recently taught lyrics on the graduate level at Berklee NYC.
Kate Wetherhead is a writer, performer and director. She is the co-creator and star of Submissions Only, a critically acclaimed comedy series about struggling theatre artists, as well as co-author of the young readers' trilogy Jack and Louisa. As a performer, she has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in numerous regional productions. Upcoming book-writing projects include Burlesque and The Devil Wears Prada.
Marlo Hunter is a theater and film director and a “2022 Woman to Watch on Broadway.” She made her feature film directorial debut with American Reject in 2022 (Amazon and Apple+). She has directed, choreographed and developed new work at Second Stage, Long Wharf, Williamstown, Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, EST, Pittsburgh CLO and Bay Street, among others. She is the winner of the Callaway Award for Unlock’d, which she directed and choreographed Off-Broadway. Hunter recently directed Mystic Christmas for Hallmark, which airs this October (starring Jessy Schram, Chandler Massey and Patti Murin). She directed and choreographed the Off-Broadway World Premiere of Cat Kid Comic Club: The Musical for TheaterWorksUSA this summer, which was hailed as a New York Times Critic’s Pick and has just launched its national tour. Upcoming: World Premiere of A Hanukkah Carol, or Gelt Trip! The Musical (Director/Choreographer) at the Round House Theatre in D.C. (December 2024). She holds a B.A. in English/Dramatic Literature from Princeton University.
Presented by special arrangement with Buena Vista Theatrical Group Ltd. and Alchemation LLC.