Monday, April 12, 2010

Melissa Gilbert in Sacto musical


California Musical Theatre presents LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, THE MUSICAL as the fifth show in the 2009-10 Broadway Sacramento season at the Community Center Theater. The national tour stops in Sacramento April 14-25. Broadway Sacramento is sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Melissa Gilbert, who rose to fame as a child playing Laura in the hugely successful NBC television series “Little House on the Prairie” during the 1970’s, now continues her legacy on the prairie by taking on the role of Ma. Little House on the Prairie will also star Steve Blanchard as Pa and Kara Lindsay as Laura.

"Little House on the Prairie" is the uplifting story of an American family forging a new life amidst the mighty challenges, heartbreaks, joys and triumphs that face them in the newly-settled heartland. It is also the story of young Laura Ingalls, as she begins her life as a young woman, finding purpose, and finding love. Above all, it is the celebration of the pioneering spirit and the core values on which this country was founded – a spirit that still resonates today.

"Little House on the Prairie," with Gilbert, Blanchard and Lindsay, had its world premiere production in August, 2008, at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, where it shattered all box-office records and sold-out for 12 consecutive weeks. Initiated for the stage by Adrianne Lobel (Frog and Toad) and Francesca Zambello, the show is directed by Zambello (Disney’s The Little Mermaid), with music by Academy Award winner Rachel Portman (Emma), lyrics by Donna di Novelli and a book by Tony Award winner Rachel Sheinkin (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Michele Lynch is choreographer and Kevin Stites is musical supervisor.

Tickets for the Sacramento engagement of "Little House on the Prairie" are on sale now. Advance tickets for "Little House on the Prairie" are available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, Sacramento, by phone at (916) 557-1999 or (916) 808-5181 or online at Tickets are also available at the Community Center Theatre box office at 1301 L Street. Tickets are $18-$65. Discounts are available for groups of 12 or more by calling (916)557-1198. Visit for more ticketing information.

MELISSA GILBERT (Caroline “Ma” Ingalls). Theatre: Off-Broadway: A Shayna Maidel (Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards); Regional: Love Letters (Canon Theater, LA); The Glass Menagerie (Chautauqua Theater Company); The Miracle Worker (Royal Poinciana Playhouse, Palm Beach); Bus Stop and Love Letters (Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville); Little House on the Prairie, the Musical (Guthrie). Television: Series lead in “Little House on the Prairie,” starred in more than 40 movies for television, including Emmy Award-winning The Miracle Worker, and more than a dozen television series, including “Nip/Tuck,” and “Sweet Justice.” Ms. Gilbert served as President of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001–05, and is currently the Standing Board Chair and Spokesperson for the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition. Ms. Gilbert is also a New York Times best-selling author with the recent publication of her autobiography, Prairie Tale - A Memoir, from Simon & Schuster.

STEVE BLANCHARD (Charles “Pa” Ingalls). Broadway: Beauty and the Beast, Camelot, A Christmas Carol, The Three Musketeers; Off-Broadway: Frankenstein, Johnny Guitar, An Oak Tree; National tours: Camelot, Phantom of the Opera, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis: Esmeralda; Baltimore’s CenterStage: Sleep of Reason; Charles Playhouse, Boston: The Threepenny Opera; Ford’s Theatre, Washington, D.C.: Hot Mikado, Godspell; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical; Paper Mill Playhouse: Chess; Theatre Under The Stars, Houston: Chess. Film/Television Law at Randado, Rapmaser Ronnie, Warlords 3000, “Third Watch,” “Law and Order,” “Ed,” “Police Story,” “Sunset Beat,” “One Life to Live,” “Guiding Light,” “Another World.”Original cast recordings Johnny Guitar, Sundown, Frankenstein; debut solo CD Northbound Train

KARA LINDSAY (Laura Ingalls). Theatre: Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Quilters; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical; 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle: Lone Star Love; West Virginia Public Theatre:Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Hello, Dolly!; Carnegie Mellon University: Side Show, After Miss Julie, Hello Again, Oresteia. Training B.F.A., Acting/Musical Theater, Carnegie Mellon University

FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO (Director). Theatre Broadway: Disney’s The Little Mermaid; London: Royal Albert Hall: Showboat; West End: Napoleon; Raimund Theater, Vienna: a new musical based on Rebecca; Seattle Children’s Theatre: Tibet Through the Red Box; Bregenz’s floating stage: West Side Story; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical. Old Globe: First Wives Club, Skylight Music Theater: artistic director, 1984-91; Opera: Metropolitan Opera: An American Tragedy (world premiere), Cyrano de Bergerac (with Placido Domingo), Les Troyens; Teatro alla Scala: Cyrano; Washington National and San Francisco Operas: The Ring, San Francisco Opera: artistic advisor; Royal Albert Hall: La Bohème; The Bolshoi: Fiery Angel; Chicago Lyric Opera: Salome; Royal Opera House: Carmen, Don Giovanni; Paris Opera: Boris Godunov, War and Peace, Billy Budd, William Tell; Film War and Peace (ORF), Amahl and the Night Visitors (BBC), The Little Prince (BBC/PBS). Awards: Three Olivier Awards; two Evening Standard Awards for best musical and best opera; two French Grand Prix des Critiques; Japanese Golden Prize; Helpmann Award; Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres; Russian Federation’s medal for Service to Culture; the Palme d’Or in Germany; the Golden Mask in Russia. Education: Colgate University; Moscow University.

RACHEL PORTMAN (Music). Theatre: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical. Film: Grey Gardens, The Duchess, Emma, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, Infamous, The Manchurian Candidate, Oliver Twist, The Lake House, Nicholas Nickleby, Hart’s War, The Human Stain, Life is Sweet, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Beloved, Home Fries, Addicted to Love, Marvin’s Room, Only You, The Road to Wellville, Sirens, Benny & Joon, The Joy Luck Club, Used People, Smoke, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Where Angels Fear to Tread. Opera/concert: The Little Prince, The Water Diviner’s Tale. Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Score for Emma; Academy Award nominations for The Cider House Rules and Chocolat; British Film Institute’s Young Composer of the Year Award.

DONNA DI NOVELLI (Lyrics). Musical Theater/Opera: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical (lyrics); Florida (book and lyrics) Lyric Opera Cleveland, Public Theater’s New Work Now, New York City Opera’s VOX; No God but Yearning (book and lyrics) Public Theater’s New Work Now, Joe’s Pub. Theater: The First Eff (stage play) Mark Taper Forum, Duende Arts. Dance: Twelve Dancing Princesses (text) Los Angeles Modern Dance and Ballet. Commissions: San Francisco Opera; Chanticleer; BBC. Publications New Monologues For Women by Women (Heinemann Press), NuMuse, Brown University. Awards: Manhattan Theatre Club Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation residency in Bellagio, Italy; National Musical Theater Conference residency, the Mac Dowell Colony and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Professional Affiliations: ASCAP, Dramatists Guild. Teaching: Bookwriting, Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts; Playwriting, National Theater Institute, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center; Visiting professor, Brown University. Training: M.F.A., Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts (Ira Gershwin Fellow); A.M., Brown University.

RACHEL SHEINKIN (Book) Recent work includes Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony, Drama Desk awards); Off Broadway: Striking 12 (Lucille Lortel nomination), off-off: Serenade. Regional: Guthrie, Little House on the Prairie, the Musical; Center Theater Group, Sleeping Beauty Wakes (Los Angeles Ovation Award); London: Blood Drive. Residencies, fellowships, commissions include: Eugene O’Neill National Theater Center, Baryshnikov Dance Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Manhattan Theatre Club, Deaf West, McCarter Theatre, Playwrights Horizons. Rachel is a volunteer mentor for TDF’s Open Doors program, a visiting instructor at Yale School of Drama, and adjunct faculty member of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.

MICHELE LYNCH (Choreographer). Paper Mill Playhouse: Happy Days. Broadway: The Coast of Utopia (Choreographer), Hairspray and The Full Monty (Associate Choreographer), Urinetown (Asst. Choreographer). Off-Broadway: Everyday Rapture (Second Stage), NYMF: Idaho; Yale Rep: Rough Crossing; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie; Asolo Theatre: Pride & Prejudice; Mark Taper Forum: 13; St Louis MUNY: Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Stanford Center for the Arts: Empire; North Carolina Theatre: South Pacific; Ford Center: Leading Ladies; has traveled around the world setting companies of Hairspray and The Full Monty. Film: CAMP. Awards: Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Happy Days at Goodspeed Opera House; Garland Award for 13.

KEVIN STITES (Music Supervision, Additional Vocals, Incidental Music). Broadway: Tale of Two Cities, Color Purple, Titanic, Sunset Boulevard, Pamela’s First Musical, Children and Art, Les Misérables, Threepenny Opera, Fiddler, Nine, Oklahoma!, On the Town. National tours: Color Purple, Martin Guerre, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Titanic. Guest conductor: Grant Park Symphony, Guys and Dolls and Les Miserables at Hollywood Bowl. TV/Film: “Rosie Live,” Reefer Madness and others.

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