Press members and sponsors of Asolo Rep’s upcoming world premiere production of Josephine got a sneak peek of the Broadway-bound musical Wednesday, April 13, at the Crosley Estate.
The 1920s-era mansion on the bayfront was, as star Deborah Cox said, “the perfect setting” for the show about African-American, St. Louis-born performer Josephine Baker, who took Paris by storm in the 1920s and after. “It’s Josephine’s style,” she added while taking the mic next to Asolo Rep producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards.
Grammy nominated singer-actress Cox (who starred as Aida on Broadway) plays Josephine in the new musical, now in rehearsals and due to open in previews April 27. Joining her and Edwards at the Crosley were the rest of the cast, including Kevin Earley as one of Josephine’s romantic interests and Mark Campbell as another—Prince Gustav VI of Sweden. Also present were the show’s creators: director-choreographer Joey McKneely (who also directed and choreographed West Side Storyearlier this season for Asolo Rep), librettists Ellen Weston and Mark Hampton, composer Stephen Dorff, lyricist John Bettis, producer Ken Waissman, orchestrator-arranger Steve Orich, and music director Sinai Tabak, who accompanied cast members on a couple of tunes from the show.
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