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September 6 – October 21, 2018
(Opening night: Friday, September 14)
Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center
A World Premiere Musical
Inspired by the music of Huey Lewis and the News
Book by Jonathan Abrams
Story by Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Abrams
Directed by Gordon Greenberg
Choreography by Lorin Latarro
Music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Brian Usifer
An electrifying world premiere musical comedy inspired by the songs of one of the most beloved and iconic acts in music history, Huey Lewis and the News. Mainstays on the Chicago dive bar circuit, Bobby and his band are hustling for their big break. But after their latest rejection, Bobby decides it’s “Hip to Be Square,” trades in his guitar, and starts “Workin’ for a Livin’” in corporate America. His boss, Cassandra, has struggles of her own, having sacrificed her personal life for the company. When they both get a shot at their dreams—for Bobby, another crack at rock stardom, and for Cassandra, a chance to become CEO—they must decide “If This Is It” for their careers, or if “The Power of Love” triumphs over all. The Heart of Rock & Roll celebrates the classic songs of Huey Lewis and the News in this heartwarming and hilarious new musical.
The Heart of Rock & Roll is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Elaine and Dave Darwin
Rhona and Rick Thompson
Pam Wagner and Hans Tegebo
Sheryl and Harvey White
Artist Sponsor for Brian Usifer (Music Supervision, Arrangements, and Orchestrations)
Mandell Weiss Charitable Trust
Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes, which includes one 15-minute intermission.
Huey Lewis is the iconic front man of the Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award–winning, and Academy Award–nominated rock-and-roll band Huey Lewis and the News. Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, Huey Lewis and the News has sold over 30 million albums that produced nineteen Top 10 and three No. 1 hits, including the global smash “The Power of Love,” which was nominated for an Academy Award. Their landmark 1983 album Sports sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone and features four Billboard Top 100 hits: “If This Is It,” “Heart and Soul,” “I Want a New Drug,” and “The Heart of Rock & Roll.” Their follow-up album, Fore!, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 with five singles on Billboard’s Top 10 singles chart, two of which were No. 1 hits: “Stuck with You” and “Jacob’s Ladder.” All five albums released by the band between 1982 and 1991 have been certified either Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum. The band continues even now to thrill audiences worldwide.
Jonathan Abrams (Book, Story) is a film and television writer and producer. He most recently wrote an original pilot, “Bishop,” for A&E Network and has developed dramas for FOX, ABC, NBC, and The CW. In feature films, he most recently wrote his original idea Diplomats for 20th Century Fox with Chernin Entertainment producing. He has sold or optioned numerous screenplays, including Relativity Media’s romantic comedy The Wedding Doctor and Dichotomy Entertainment’s Juror #2.He was also a credited producer on Summit Entertainment’s Escape Plan franchise. He is a graduate of University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Tyler Mitchell (Story) has over two decades of experience in film and television as a producer, writer, and executive. His producing credits include The Incredible Burt Wonderstone starring Steve Carell and Jim Carrey; Lucky Number Slevin starring Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Ben Kingsley, and Morgan Freeman; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn starring Robin Williams and Mila Kunis; and most recently the critically acclaimed film Maudie starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Mr. Mitchell’s television credits include NBC’s “Kidnapped” and “My Own Worst Enemy,” both of which he produced and wrote. As a production executive, Mr. Mitchell has overseen the development, production, and financing of many films, including The Butterfly Effect starring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart and The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart. Mr. Mitchell is currently Senior Vice President of Imagine Entertainment, an award-winning film and television production company.
Gordon Greenberg (Director) has recent and upcoming credits that include directing Barnum (Menier Chocolate Factory), co-writing and directing the forthcoming Broadway stage adaptation of The Secret of My Success (Universal Stage Productions), directing The Angel and the Sparrow (Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Mirvish Theatre), writing the new book for Meet Me in St. Louis (The Muny), directing and co-writing Mystic Pizza (MGM On Stage/The Araca Group), co-writing The Curse of Dracula! (Maltz Jupiter Theatre),and co-writing Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big [your town here] Christmas Show! (Bucks County Playhouse). Mr. Greenberg co-wrote and directed the Broadway stage adaptation of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn (Roundabout Theatre Company/Universal Stage Productions, PBS’s “Great Performances”) and directed the acclaimed West End revival of Guys and Dolls, which starred Rebel Wilson and received six Olivier Award nominations (Savoy Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre). His other credits include Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations); Working (The Old Globe, Broadway in Chicago, 59E59 Theaters; Drama Desk Award); the stage adaptation of Disney’s Tangled; co-writing original movie musicals for Disney Channel and Nickelodeon; and regional work at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Musicals, Huntington Theatre Company, Signature Theatre Company, Dallas Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, Philadelphia Theatre Company, and more. He attended Stanford University, New York University, and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and he is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Writers Guild of America, and The Dramatists Guild of America.
Lorin Latarro (Choreography) recently choreographed Broadway’s Waitress, Les Liaisons Dangereuse with Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber, and Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and she is the Associate Choreographer of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and American Idiot. Her additional choreography includes Chess (The Kennedy Center), Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump Street for “This American Life” (Brooklyn Academy of Music), The Public Theater’s Twelfth Night and The Odyssey (Delacorte Theater), Queen of the Night (Diamond Horseshoe), Assassins, Fanny, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (City Center Encores!), Between the Lines (Kansas City Repertory Theatre), Beaches (Drury Lane Theatre), and A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre Center). Ms. Latarro is a Bucks County Playhouse Artistic Associate and a Juilliard School graduate. Her upcoming work includes La Traviata at The Metropolitan Opera. lorinlatarro.com.
Brian Usifer (Music Supervision, Arrangements, and Orchestrations) is a New York City–based music director, pianist, orchestrator, arranger, producer, and composer. He is currently the Music Director of Disney’s Frozen, which made its world premiere in Denver in summer 2017 before its opening on Broadway last season. He is also currently the Associate Music Supervisor of The Book of Mormon on Broadway and on tour, which won nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. Previously, Mr. Usifer was the Music Director of Kinky Boots on Broadway, which won six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score; the cast recording won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. He was also the show’s Associate Music Supervisor for the national tour and the productions in Toronto and on the West End, where it won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. brianusifer.com.
Derek McLane (Scenic Design) has designed over 350 productions on Broadway, Off Broadway, internationally, regionally, and on television. He was last at The Old Globe with In Your Arms. His Broadway credits include The Price, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Fully Committed, Noises Off, Gigi, Anything Goes, Ragtime, 33 Variations, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Heiress, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Follies, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Million Dollar Quartet, The Pajama Game, and I Am My Own Wife. His Off Broadway credits include If I Forget, Love Love Love, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Charity, Buried Child, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Spoils, Into the Woods, Ruined, Macbeth, and Hurlyburly. Mr. McLane’s television credits include the Academy Awards (2013–2018) and the live NBC musicals The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Hairspray. He has received Tony, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and Art Directors Guild Awards. He is on the board of directors at The New Group and Fiasco Theater and has been a mentor for Theatre Development Fund’s Open Doors program for the past 15 years.
Paloma Young (Costume Design) previously designed The Old Globe’s 2006 Summer Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She designed the Broadway productions of Peter and the Starcatcher (Tony Award), Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Tony nomination), and Bandstand (Drama Desk Award nomination). Her Off Broadway credits include The Great Comet (Kazino, Lucille Lortel Award), Fly by Night (Playwrights Horizons), Recall (Colt Coeur), Permission (MCC Theater), and Brooklyn Babylon (Brooklyn Academy of Music). She has designed regionally at American Repertory Theater, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Hand2Mouth, and Mixed Blood Theatre, among others. palomayoung.com.
Howell Binkley (Lighting Design) designed the Broadway productions of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Come from Away (2017 Tony nomination), A Bronx Tale The Musical, Hamilton (2016 Tony Award, 2018 Olivier Award), After Midnight (2014 Tony nomination), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2011 Tony nomination), West Side Story (2009 Tony nomination), In the Heights (2008 Tony nomination), Jersey Boys (2006 Tony Award), Avenue Q, Parade, and Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993 Tony nomination). He is the Co-Founder and Resident Lighting Designer at Parsons Dance. He received the 1993 Olivier and Dora Awards for Kiss of the Spider Woman, as well as the 2006 and 2016 Henry Hewes Design Awards for Jersey Boys and Hamilton.
David Patridge (Co-Sound Design) designed theBroadway productions of Holler If Ya Hear Me and Soul Doctor, and the U.S. tours of Flashdance, Mamma Mia!, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His regional credits include The Muny’s 2015–2018 seasons, First Wives Club, Harmony, The Nutty Professor, Emma, Robin and the 7 Hoods, Sammy, Ace, Beauty and the Beast, Singin’ in the Rain, Sweeney Todd, and Miss Saigon. Off Broadway he designed Gigantic, and internationally he designed Das Wunder von Bern. He was also Associate Sound Designer on Pretty Woman, Paramour, Kinky Boots, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, Leap of Faith, Bonnie & Clyde, We Will Rock You, Sister Act, Come Fly Away, 9 to 5, The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, Tarzan, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,and In My Life. Mr. Patridge is a recipient of the Kevin Kline and Suzi Bass Awards for Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical.
John Shivers (Co-Sound Design) designed, with David Patridge, Emma, Robin and the 7 Hoods, Sammy, and Ace at The Old Globe. His recent and upcoming credits include Pretty Woman, The Sting, and Gettin’ the Band Back Together. His other credits include Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour, The Muny’s 2015–2017 seasons, Kinky Boots (2013 Tony Award), Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, Bonnie & Clyde, Sister Act, 9 to 5, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, In My Life, and Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays. His international credits include The Secret, Tarzan, Das Wunder von Bern, and The Lion King (Shanghai and Singapore). His other regional credits include Hood, Born for This, Moonshine, Harmony, The Nutty Professor, and Tales of the City, as well as work with Savion Glover, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Gregory Hines, and Electric Lady Studios.
Matt Doebler (Music Director) has conducted and played keyboards for the Broadway hits Wicked and The Book of Mormon, as well as their national tours. Most recently he served as Associate Music Director for the new musical Jagged Little Pill, based on Alanis Morissette’s iconic album at American Repertory Theater. Prior to that, Mr. Doebler was Associate Conductor and Accordion-meister for Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. His other recent Broadway shows include Kinky Boots, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, She Loves Me, and Les Misérables. He is a student and faculty alumnus of Penn State’s music and theatre programs. As a native-born Californian, he is thrilled to be making his Old Globe debut.
Tara Rubin Casting/Eric Woodall, CSA (Casting) has cast the Globe’s Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, Guys and Dolls, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dog and Pony, A Room with a View, and others. Their select Broadway credits include King Kong (upcoming), The Band’s Visit, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Prince of Broadway, Bandstand, Indecent, Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon, Dear Evan Hansen, A Bronx Tale The Musical, Cats, Falsettos, Disaster!, School of Rock, Gigi, Bullets Over Broadway, Aladdin, Les Misérables, The Heiress, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Shrek The Musical, Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Producers, Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys, and The Phantom of the Opera. Their Off Broadway credits include The Band’s Visit, Here Lies Love,and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. They have also cast regionally for Yale Repertory Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Anjee Nero (Production Stage Manager) has previously worked on The Old Globe’s world premiere musical productions of Benny & Joon, October Sky, Bright Star, Dog and Pony, Allegiance, A Room with a View, and Kingdom. Some of her additional credits include The Tempest; The Wanderers; The Importance of Being Earnest; King Richard II; Picasso at the Lapin Agile; Kiss Me, Kate; The Twenty-seventh Man; The Winter’s Tale; Be a Good Little Widow; and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. Ms. Nero worked on the Broadway production of Bright Star and launched the first national tour last fall. Her selected La Jolla Playhouse credits include Sideways directed by Des McAnuff, Ruined directed by Liesl Tommy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Christopher Ashley, and Herringbone directed by Roger Rees and starring BD Wong. Ms. Nero has worked with several prominent regional theatres including The Kennedy Center, Center Theatre Group (Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas Theatres), Hartford Stage, SITI Company, Huntington Theatre Company, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, to name a few, including having toured both nationally and internationally with several dance and music companies.