The Last Smoker In America (2009)
With book and lyrics by Tony nominee Bill Russell (Side Show) and music by Drama Desk nominee Peter Melnick (Adrift in Macao), The Last Smoker in America is an original, four-character musical comedy about a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in a world where smoking has recently been outlawed. Pam, an English lit professor at a small college, is having an impossible time trying to quit smoking. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he’s convinced he’s black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?
Approximate Running Time: 2 hrs (approximation); no intermission
Broadway: Avenue Q (Gary Coleman - original cast); Rent (Joanne). Off-Broadway: Avenue Q. Second Stage: 10 Things to Do Before I Die (Vida); Lincoln Center: The Glorious Ones (Columbina); Playwrights Horizons: The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. Tours: Once on This Island (1st Nat’l). Regional: Center Stage: Fabulation (Dir: Jackson Gay). Philadelphia Playhouse: Play On, Soul Possessed (dir: Debbie Allen); NJ Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona (Silvia). Film/TV: "Woo", "Grace of My Heart", "Sugar Hill", “Play On” (PBS Great Performances), “The Education of Max Bickford” (recurring), “Beverly Hills 90210” (recurring), “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Martin,” “Spin City,” “Melrose Place,” “Damages,” among others. Education: Carnegie Mellon University.
Felicia Finley is 'fired up' to join the cast and crew of 'Last Smoker' (cough-cough)! Recently completed the World Premiere of 'Catch me If You Can' * (Cheryl Ann/5th Avenue). Broadway: 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' (B'way debut), 'The Life' * (April), 'Aida' (Amneris), 'The Wedding Singer' * (Linda), 'Sweet Charity' (w/Gwen Verdon for AmFar). Off-Broadway: Forbidden Broadway-'2001 Space Odyssey' * and 'SVU', 'The Wild Party' * (Rose Himmelstein/MTC), 'Bubbly Black Girl...' * (Playwrights Horizons). Regional and favorites: Evita (Eva/Oqunquit, Northshore), Lysistrata (Lysistrata/ULM), 'Debbie Does Dallas' (Debbie/Vegas), Headlined in Atlantic City 'Broadway Nights' * (Caesar's Palace), 'Happy Days' *(Pinky Tuscadero/Papermill, Goodspeed, 1st Nat'l), The Gershwin's, 'An American in Paris' *(Hermia Chase/Alley Theatre), 'Jekyll and Hyde' (1st Nat'l), 'Jesus Christ Superstar'(1st Nat'l w/ Carl Anderson), Ecores! 'Face the Music' * (Streetwalker), 'Pardon My English' (Magda Carter). Check out "Great Mood for A Tuesday", her debut album at: feliciafinley.net ! Felicia sends love to her husband, Paul Stancato, and her loving family... *denotes original company and/or cast album.
Marcus Neville originated the role of Harold Nichols in The Full Monty both on Broadway and on the West End in London. Also on Broadway: Li’l Abner (Encores!) and City of Angels. Off-Broadway: The Blue Flower, Iron Curtain and Illyria (The Prospect Theatre Company); Mimi le Duck; Bonnie & Clyde (NYMF); That’s Life; CBS Live (as Ricky Ricardo); The Man Who Shot Lincoln (John Wilkes); Ten Little Indians (New Vic); Nite Club Confidential. Regional Theatres include the Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Theater Festival, The Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Theatre Building Chicago, Meadowbrook Theater and the Attic Theater (MI), Florida Stage, The Old Globe, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, Connecticut Repertory Theater, Goodspeed Opera House, North Shore (MA) and The Repertory Theatre of St Louis. Original Cast Recordings: The Full Monty, City of Angels, Mimi le Duck, Nite Club Confidential, Be Like Joe, New Lies, and "Ben Bagley's Revisited" Series. TV/Film: Law & Order(s), Guiding Light, All My Children, Ham ‘n’ Addie (By Clem!). Marcus is a member of the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Vermont. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Alex Wyse was last seen in the workshop of Mrs. Sharp at Playwrights Horizons alongside Jane Krakowski and directed by Michael Greif. Regionally he has been seen in productions of Speech & Debate (Elliot Norton Award for Best Production, Best Ensemble Nominee), The Cherry Orchard, Our Town, Honk, The Lion In Winter, Urinetown, Gypsy, She Loves Me, Lord of the Flies, and Summer of ’42. TV credits include “Greatest Kid Concoctions” and “Handel’s Messiah Rocks," both filmed for PBS, and he can be heard on the children’s music album N’Fusion. BFA: Boston University. Visit www.alexwyse.com.
Bill Russell received a Tony nomination for the book of Side Show and shared one with composer Henry Krieger for score. He co-wrote the book and lyrics for Off-Broadway’s Pageant and directed it at the King’s Head Theatre in London and in the West End, where it received two Olivier Award nominations. Mr. Russell subsequently directed Pageant in Chicago, Los Angeles, the University of Kansas, and Stoneham, MA. He authored book and lyrics for Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, directing it in New York and in London’s Fringe and West End, among many others. Everything’s Ducky (music by Henry Krieger) premiered with TheatreWorks and garnered the Will Glickman Award for Best Play (S.F. Bay area) and the “Backstage West” Garland Award for Best Score. A revised version under the new title Lucky Duck was produced at the Old Globe, and Mr. Russell directed a version at the Boston Conservatory. Mr. Russell’s latest creation with Henry Krieger, Up in the Air, premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His credits as lyricist include the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and the official theme for Gay Games. Honorary doctorates from Morningside College and the Boston Conservatory. For more, please visit www.BillRussell.net.
Peter Melnick's musical Adrift in Macao, a parody of film noir written with librettist Christopher Durang, was presented Off-Broadway at Primary Stages after a successful and award-winning run at the Philadelphia Theater Company. The New York production earned Melnick a Drama Desk Award nomination for his music. Melnick also composed the score to Twyla Tharp's Sextet and, with Bill Russell, wrote two musical one-acts, Patter for the Floating Lady based on Steve Martin's eponymous play, and A Bad Spell. Melnick’s film scoring credits include “L.A. Story,” the Steve Martin comedy; “The Only Thrill,” starring Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard; Horton Foote’s “Convicts,” with Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones; and Bob Saget’s truly obscene “Farce of the Penguins,” with penguins. Melnick's television credits include the recent PBS feature-length documentary, “Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood”; “Indictment: The McMartin Trial”; “Grand Avenue”; and “Lily Dale.”
Sheryl Kaller most recently directed the acclaimed Naked Angels production of Next Fall, by Geoffrey Nauffts. Other credits include Dangerous Beauty, music by Michele Brourman, lyrics by Amanda McBroom, and book by Jeannine Dominy (A.M.T.P.); Adrift In Macao, music by Peter Melnick, book and lyrics by Christopher Durang (Primary Stages and Philadelphia Theater Company); Jayson With a Y by Darci Picoult (The New Group); The Pursuit Of Happiness by Richard Dresser (Hudson Stage Company); The Molly Maguires, music and lyrics by Sid Cherry, book by Bill Strzempeck (Berry Center for the Performing Arts), and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, music by Alan Menken, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman (The York Theater). Ms. Kaller has also directed at New York Stage and Film, A.C.T., The Rubicon, E.S.T., National Theater of the Deaf, and Man In The Moon (London). She was a member of the former Circle Rep Lab and the recipient of a Dramalogue Award for Best New Musical. Sheryl co- founded and was the Artistic Director of Two Island Productions, a New York and Bermuda-based theater company devoted to developing and producing original plays, playwright retreats/workshops, screenplays, concerts and youth arts and education programs. Upcoming: I Loved Lucy by Lee Tannen; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, music by Alan Menken, book and lyrics by David Spencer.
Ann Thayer recently moved to New York from Seattle, Washington where she worked in the artistic department at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Her Seattle Rep assistant directing/dramaturgical work includes The Imaginary Invalid, adapted by Constance Congdon, directed by David Schweizer, The Breach by Catherine Filloux, Joe Sutton, and Tarell McCraney, directed by David Esbjornson, Birdie Blue by Cheryl West, directed by Chuck Smith, and Murderers by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by Steven Dietz. This past year Ann worked in casting at The Public Theater, and assistant directed Satellites orThe Unbearable Lightness of Being Taylor Negron at the Barrow Street Theatre, directed by David Schweizer. Ann most recently directed a reading of Alice in Wonderland at the Music Pagoda in Prospect Park.
is currently represented on Broadway as a producer of the hit revival of HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Awards). Off-Broadway: Vigil, a dark comedy by Morris Panych, starring Tony nominees Malcolm Gets and Helen Stenborg. Upcoming: A Perfect Future, by David Hay. As a director, Andy’s recent credits include Bernice Bobs Her Mullet (NYMF) and Into the Woods (Blue Hill Troupe). He is currently directing R.R.R.E.D., by Adam Jackman, Patrick Livingston, and Katie Thompson, in the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Upcoming: Operation Epsilon, a new play by Alan Brody; Garbo & Me, a new musical by Joanne Lessner and Joshua Rosenblum. In 2007, Andy worked with Hal Prince on the Broadway production of LoveMusik (SDC Fellowship). As an actor, some favorite credits include Huck in Big River (Mill Mountain) and Jimmy in Hot and Sweet (NYMF; opposite Lea Michele). B.A. Yale University. Alumnus of Yale Whiffenpoofs, Alley Cats, and Dramat. Member of AEA and the SDC.
Fred Lassen is Conductor of South Pacific. Conducted on Broadway: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot, Cabaret, 42nd Street, Once Upon a Mattress. Other good stuff: Adrift in Macao (Off-Broadway), Notes to MariAnne (O'Neill, NY Stage & Film), Pride & Prejudice (Eastman Theatre), Wicked City (American Stage Company), and original music for Gone with the Clover (Nat'l Company of Actors). He has arranged and orchestrated for performers including Paulo Szot, Lauren Kennedy, Stephanie Block, Philip Chaffin, and Jeremy Schonfeld. He is currently concertizing with Metropolitan Opera baritone David Pittsinger. Fred has a degree in Organ Performance from Oberlin Conservatory, but refuses to play for you.
Broadway credits: White Christmas, Mamma Mia, Spring Awakening, Chicago and Mary Poppins. Music Director for the Barn Theatre, The Wild Party (Riverside Theatre), The Last Five Years (Manhattan School of Music), The Casebook of Rudolf H- (New York Theatre Workshop). Performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Caroline’s Comedy Club, Metropolitan Room and Joe’s Pub, NYC. Original compositions Mary Macabee: Nee Collins, The World Upstairs: A Song Cycle. Organist at Christ Lutheran Church, NYC. Training includes Bowdoin International Music Festival, Professional Musical Theatre Workshop, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Manhattan School of Music with Constance Keene and Maria Asteriadou.
Matt Williams most recently choreographed on Broadway for Will Ferrell's Tony-nominated You're Welcome America, directed by Adam McKay. Matt’s most recent Off-Broadway credit as choreographer was with Paul Scott Goodman's Rooms, directed by Scott Schwartz. Matt is reuniting with Scott to stage Stephen Schwartz’s first Opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon this fall, at Opera Santa Barbara. In 2008, Matt self-produced his first full-length dance play, WARD 9, for NYMF, and received the festival’s award for Best Choreography. Matt holds the title of 'Big Piano Choreographer' at the FAO Schwarz Toy Store in New York City where he continually recreates and reinvents the world famous piano-dancing scene from the hit film Big. Matt is also the resident choreographer for the acclaimed international youth circus, Circus Smirkus. Matt's choreography has appeared at The Alley, Lincoln Center, Irish Repertory Theatre, La Mama, The Rubicon Theatre, Stamford Center for the Arts, Metrostage, and Geva Theatre. He is currently developing a new dance play for Broadway with Tony Award-winning producer Jeffrey Richards and writer Gregory Victor. Matt holds a BFA in choreography from UC Irvine.
Drew has done fight choreography, stunt coordinated and performed stunts for over seventy shows and films in and around New York. Some recent affiliations include NYU Drama, Dreamscape Theatre, Illustrious Theatre Company, Petal Rose Productions, La Mama Etc, Posseble Theater Company, The Gallery Players, CW Post University, Bergen College, New School University, and NYU Grad Film. Drew has served as a guest lecturer at NYU’s Playwright’s Horizons Theatre School, Bergen College, The New Jersey Thespian Festival and the Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Theatre Conservatory. Drew is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in theatre. He is currently working as a principal stunt performer on a new Warner Brothers movies titled I Am Legend starring Will Smith.
Charlie Corcoran's designs include: The Night Watcher, (Primary Stages), Sophistry, The Black Monk, The Bully Pulpit (Becket Theatre), The Yeats Project, Prisoner of the Crown, Sive, Defender of the Faith, The Field, (Irish Rep) The Metal Children (Vineyard), The Dishwashers (59 East 59th Street Theatre), Without Walls (CTG, Mark Taper Forum), Engaging Shaw, Bookends, Her Hair Went with Her, (New Jersey Repertory), The Molly Maguires (Kirby Center), Exits and Entrances (Primary Stages, Edinburgh International Festival), Rock Doves (Irish Arts Center), Shogun Macbeth, Tea (Pan Asian Rep), The Second Tosca (45th Street Theatre). Associate Designs include: Adfrift In Macao (Primary Stages), Happiness, Third (Lincoln Center), Raisin In the Sun, The Boys From Syracuse (Broadway), Iphigenie En Tauride, Rodelinda (Metropolitan Opera), Me, Myself & I (McCarter Theatre), Amelia (Seattle Opera).
Michael McDonald received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his costumes for the 2009 Tony Award winning Best Musical Revival of HAIR. The Public: Hair, (Delacorte Theater). Off-Broadway: Tartuffe (Tribeca Playhouse), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Lincoln Center), Measure for Measure (Expanded Arts). Regional: Take Me Out (The Repertory Theater of St. Louis); Dirty Blonde, Omnium Gatherum, and Crowns (Zachary Scott Theatre); Amadeus, Sweeney Todd, The Laramie Project, Angels in America (Chatham Playhouse). Broadway: Assistant Costume Designer for two Tony Award winning Best Plays: The Goat and Take Me Out, as well as Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan and Blood Brothers. Costume painting for productions including The Seagull and Mother Courage and Her Children starring Meryl Streep, Radiant Baby, Caroline or Change, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Top Dog/Underdog.
Bart Fasbender's NY Credits include: Reborning, The Happy Sad, and Departure Lounge for SPF 2009; Next Fall, dir. Sheryl Kaller, and Fault Lines (Naked Angels); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (The Public); Humor Abuse (Manhattan Theater Club); Body of Water (Primary Stages); Three Changes and Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons); Animals Out of Paper (Second Stage); Port Authority (The Atlantic); A View From 151st Street and UNCONDITIONAL (LAByrinth); Made In Poland (The Play Company); Democracy In America (PS122/The Foundry). Also Juilliard, Fordham, Symphony Space, Les Freres Corbusier, Cherry Lane, Clubbed Thumb, BAM, St Ann’s Warehouse. Regional: Williamstown, Berkshire Theater Festival, NY Stage & Film, Barrington Stage, Two River, The Kirk Douglas-CTG, TheaterWorks-Hartford.
As a Jack-of-all-trades, formally, Michael R. Hetzer is a Scenic Designer and Scenic Artist. He attended Fredonia State University where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005. Here in New York, he also works as an electrician, and a carpenter, and has been known to make art on commission for whoever needs his work. Recent credits include; “42nd Street” at Hofstra Ent., “An Oresteia”, & “The Tempest” at Classic Stage Company. Congratulations to all on a great show.
Roger Alan Gindi, a producer and general manager, won the 2007 Tony Award for producing the Best Special Theatrical Event, Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! He recently produced Billy Goda’s play, DUST, Off-Broadway. He was general manager of three plays by August Wilson: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, King Hedley II, and Jitney. He produced the Off- Broadway hit Shakespeare's R&J. He managed the original smash-hit productions of Nunsense and its many tours and sequels. He produced Crazy He Calls Me and was the general manager of A Small Family Business, Our Country's Good, and Mixed Emotions on Broadway, as well as David Mamet's Oleanna and Larry Kramer's The Destiny of Me, among many others. Mr. Gindi has also served as the theatrical manager for the past six "Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows" on CBS.
Broadway: Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life; The History Boys. National Tours: Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life; Cabaret. Other recent credits Memphis at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre; Rich Boyfriend for The New Group; The Soldier’s Tale at The 92nd Street Y, directed by Alan Alda; The Rite Of Spring Project for Carnegie Hall; and Pamela’s First Musical for BC/EFA. Lincoln Center, BAM, Off-Broadway, numerous workshops and industrials. Proud member of AEA.
Amber Estes is the Production Manager for 2 Step Productions. Also owns and runs Autonomous Production Services. A full service Production and Technical Management company. Past shows and companies; Manhattan Theatre Source, Theatre Row Studios, radiotheatrenyc, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, Heiress Productions, Political Toast, “Mantasia” at the SHOW nightclub. www.autonomousps.com.
Michael Cassara, CSA, casts for theatre and film in New York City. Recent regional theatre credits include The Old Globe, the Great Lakes Theater Festival, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Gulfshore Playhouse, the Olney Theatre Center, the White Plains Performing Arts Center and he regularly casts for many other top companies. In New York, Michael is the resident casting director for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), where he has been the casting director for over 35 new musicals since the festival's conception in 2004. Upcoming projects include White Noise (opening on Broadway this Fall), the short film Alienated starring Vincent Pastore, and the feature film Clear Blue Tuesday, which will be released in September. Michael is a graduate of Otterbein College, and a member of the Casting Society of America. Please visit www.MichaelCassara.net.
Howard Joines:Music Coordinator: Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, The Times They Are A -Changin’, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Romantic Poetry, Adrift in Macao, and the upcoming First Wives Club and Pure Country. Conductor/Percussionist: Billy Elliot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Never Gonna Dance, Flower Drum Song, The Full Monty, Jesus Christ Superstar, Miss Saigon, Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. Percussionist/Drummer: Les Misérables, Singing in the Rain, The King and I. Recordings/performances: Jewel, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Rochester Philharmonic, Orpheus, St. Lukes. Jingles/film/television: Coca-Cola, Miller Beer, Across the Universe, Alamo, Peggy Sue Got Married, Snake Eyes, Twilight, The Age of Innocence, Femme Fatale. On-camera: Maid in Manhattan, MTV Music Video Awards, Guiding Light.
Off-Broadway: Next Fall and Fault Lines (Naked Angels), The Cripple of Inishmaan and Parlour Song (Atlantic Theater Company), Oswald’s Backyard (Present Company). Other NY Credits: Saint Joan of the Stockyards and Aphrodisiac (P.S. 122), The Whore of Sheridan Square (La Mama), Great Expectations (Lucille Lortel). Regional (select): How The Other Half Loves, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Barnum, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Spinning Into Butter, Falsettos, Communicating Doors, I Am My Own Wife, The Ruby Sunrise. Two years as Resident Stage Manager at the Penobscot Theater in Bangor, Maine. International Tours/Festivals: Bath Shakespeare, Battersea Arts Center, Edinburgh Fringe, Teatr Miejski, Galway Arts.
Hangin' Out in a Smoky Bar
Credit: Malcolm Gets, Rachel de Benedet
Smell the Coffee
Credit: Malcolm Gets
The Last Cigarette
Credit: Rachel de Benedet, Malcolm Gets, Paul Iacono, Natalie Venetia Belcon
The Last Smoker in America
Credit: Rachel de Benedet, Malcolm Gets, Paul Iacono, Natalie Venetia Belcon
THE LAST SMOKER IN AMERICA Adds Extra Performances To Its NYMF Run, Shows Added For 10/14, 10/16
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Finley, Belcon, Neville and Wyse Set for Last Smoker in America at NYMF
Cast and creative team announced on Playbill.com
By Adam Hetrick
27 Aug 2009