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Cast is Set for 'Amélie, A New Musical' at the Ahmanson


Casting has been set for Center Theatre Group’s production of “Amélie, A New Musical” at the Ahmanson Theatre which begins previews December 4, 2016, opens December 16, and continues through January 15, 2017. In addition to the previously announced Phillipa Soo (Tony Award nominee for “Hamilton”) in the title role, the cast will feature, in alphabetical order, Emily Afton, Alyse Alan Louis, David Andino, Randy Blair, Heath Calvert, Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Cimmet, Savvy Crawford, Manoel Felciano, Harriett D. Foy, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Tony Sheldon, Jacob Keith Watson and Paul Whitty.

Based on the motion picture written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, “Amélie, A New Musical” will have its Broadway premiere in 2017 with full casting, Broadway theatre and dates to be announced soon. Amélie captured our hearts in the five-time Academy Award-nominated 2001 French film. Now she comes to the stage in an inventive and captivating new musical directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “Clybourne Park”), with a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas (“An American in Paris”), music by Daniel Messé (“Hem”), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (“The Burnt Part Boys”) and Daniel Messé, musical staging and choreography by Sam Pinkleton, musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby, vocal arrangements by Kimberly Grigsby and Daniel Messé, and orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin.

“Amélie, A New Musical” features scenic and costume design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, co-lighting design by Tony Award nominee Jane Cox and Mark Barton, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada and projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini.

The musical follows the mesmerizing journey of the inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie who turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining, while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her. After discovering a mysterious photo album and meeting a handsome stranger, Amélie realizes that helping others is easier than participating in a romantic story of her own.

In 2015, “Amélie, A New Musical” had its critically acclaimed world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and topped “Best Theater of 2015” lists in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times called it “… a sparkling musical comedy,” that “… slyly revels in the infinite possibilities of theatrical merrymaking … The score … flowers with originality.” Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “A dreamy movie becomes a dream of a stage musical … wit crackles and charm fills the house, emanating from the book, lyrics and melodies. Director Pam MacKinnon creates a seamless blend of visual, narrative and performance delights.”

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for “Amélie, A New Musical” are available by calling (213) 972-4400 or online at, or by visiting the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012.


CRAIG LUCAS (Book). Craig’s plays include “Missing Persons,” “Reckless,” “Blue Window,” “Prelude to a Kiss” (Tony nomination), “God’s Heart,” “The Dying Gaul,” “Small Tragedy” (Obie Award), “Stranger,” “Prayer for My Enemy,” “The Singing Forest,” “The Lying Lesson,” and “Ode To Joy.” His movies include “Longtime Companion,” “The Secret Lives of Dentists” and “The Dying Gaul,” which he also directed. He wrote the libretti for “The Light in the Piazza” (Tony nomination), “An American in Paris” (Tony nomination), “Three Postcards” and the opera “Two Boys” (Metropolitan Opera). He directed the world premiere of “The Light in the Piazza,” Harry Kondoleon’s “Saved or Destroyed” and “Play Yourself,” and the film “Birds of America.” Craig has received three Tony nominations, the New York Film Critics Best Screenplay Award, the Sundance Audience Award, the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Steinberg Award, three Obies (one for direction), and the Laura Pels Mid-career Achievement Award from PEN; he has been a Pulitzer finalist.

DANIEL MESSÉ (Music and co-lyricist) is the founder and principal songwriter of the band Hem, which has garnered worldwide acclaim over the course of six studio albums. Starting as a DIY project out of Dan’s bedroom, Hem was signed to DreamWorks Records by legendary music producer Lenny Waronker and has been featured in every major media outlet including the “New York Times,” the “New Yorker,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2009 the Public Theater tapped Hem to score “Twelfth Night” for Shakespeare in the Park (starring Anne Hathaway and Audra McDonald, directed by Daniel Sullivan) for which they earned a Drama Desk Award nomination. Daniel has written four shows for Theatreworks USA (including “Black Beauty” and “Nate the Great”) with collaborator Mindi Dickstein. They were the recipients of a Jonathan Larson Grant from the American Theatre Wing and were commissioned by Playwrights Horizons to write the full-length musical “Trip” through the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Commissioning Program.

NATHAN TYSEN (Co-lyricist) was represented on Broadway last season with the new musical “Tuck Everlasting.” Recent projects include “Stillwater” with band Joe’s Pet Project at Kansas City Rep. In 2014, Nathan was awarded both the Edward Kleban Prize for most promising lyricist and the Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theatre songwriting (co-won with Chris Miller). Work with Miller includes lyrics for “The Burnt Part Boys” (2009 Lucille Lortel nomination for Best New Musical), and “Fugitive Songs” (2008 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Revue), both of which have cast albums available at iTunes and Amazon. Additional work with Miller includes songs for “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company,” as well as two circuses for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Nathan was a contributing lyricist to the musical revue “Stars of David,” and has written material for the Broadway Inspirational Voices and BCEA's Gypsy of the Year. He has worked for over a decade writing and directing for the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts, helping to create over a dozen new musicals with young adults. MFA: NYU Tisch, BFA: Missouri State Univ.

PAM MACKINNON (Direction) won Tony and Drama Desk Awards and received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for her direction of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Other Broadway credits include Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” for which she won an Obie Award and garnered Tony and Lucille Lortel Award nominations, David Mamet’s “China Doll,” Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” and Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles.” Her many off-Broadway and regional credits include Bruce Norris’ “The Qualms” (Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Playwrights Horizons), Sarah Treem’s “When We Were Young and Unafraid” (Manhattan Theatre Club), Craig Lucas’ “The Lying Lesson” (Atlantic Theater Company), Horton Foote’s “Harrison, TX” (Primary Stages) and Itamar Moses’ “Completeness” (South Coast Repertory and Playwrights Horizons). Pam is an alumna of the Drama League, and the Women’s Project and Lincoln Center Theater Directors Labs, and is an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre, as well as an executive board member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and board chair of the NYC downtown company Clubbed Thumb.

SAM PINKLETON (Musical staging and choreography) is a New York City-based director and choreographer. As a choreographer his recent work includes “The Heidi Chronicles” (Broadway); “Machinal” (Broadway); “Pretty Filthy” (The Civilians); “Kansas City Choir Boy” (Prototype Festival, with Courtney Love); “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” (Kazino); “Heisenberg” (Manhattan Theatre Club); “Significant Other” (Roundabout Theatre Company); “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play;” “Fly By Night;” and “Stage Kiss” (Playwrights Horizons); “Marie Antoinette” (Soho Rep); “I Promised Myself to Live Faster” (Pig Iron/Humana Festival); “HAIR: Retrospection” (Kansas City Repertory Theatre); “The Understudy” (McCarter Theatre Center); “The Lightning Thief” (Theatreworks USA); “Spring Awakening” (Olney Theatre Center); and “Buyer and Cellar” (Barrow Street Theatre/tour). He is an associate artist with The Civilians and Wit-Cartel’s “ONTHEFLOOR.” Sam teaches “Bustin’ Moves” at NYU.

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October 17, 2016