The Cuban and the Redhead, a new musical about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will be presented on Friday, August 14 as part of the Festival of New Musicals, "Village Originals," at Village Theatre where Next to Normal was developed.
The musical about the lives of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz will feature Brandon O'Neill and Nicole Beerman, both regulars at 5th Avenue Theatre, as as the Cuban bandleader and the famous redhead, along with Rebecca Spencer (Phantom of the Opera, Jeckyll & Hyde), Eileen Galindo (House of Bernarda Alba starring Chita Rivera/Mark Taper Forum) and a cast of a dozen other actors under the direction of Kathryn Van meter and musical direction of Jim Fischer. The Cuban and the Redhead features a book and score by Robert Bartley and Danny Whitman and was recently featured in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) festival in the fall of 2008, the Festival of New American Musicals in Los Angeles in July of 2008, and in staged readings in the York Theatre Company.
The plot: Escaping the bloodshed of his native Island, a young Cuban boy sets sail on a turbulent journey that leads him all the way to Hollywood and into the arms of a fiery, redheaded movie star named Lucille Ball. At the climax of The Cuban and the Redhead, Desi and Lucy put their money, their trust and their dreams on the line in a gamble t o save one thing - their marriage. They risk it all on an untested medium called television. Can these two star crossed lovers blaze a path that defies Hollywood and history to be together?
Village Theatre is dedicated to the preservation and artistic development of musical theatre, one of our country's most enduring art forms. Village Originals is a nationally recognized program and represents one of the strongest commitments to new musicals anywhere. Over the years, Village Originals and Village Theatre have nurtured the development of over 75 new musicals - some of which have received subsequent productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, and Taiwan.
For more information, visit www.bartleywhitman.com or www.villagetheatre.org.