Stage Door News
Toronto: Mirvish announces the cast of “& Juliet” in North America
Friday, May 6, 2022
The cast of the North American premiere production of & Juliet includes Tony® winners, acclaimed actors from the U.S., Canada and England, and exciting new talent.
Roaring into Toronto this summer, is London’s newest hit musical and will bring its multi-award-winning irreverence, hilarity and joie de vivre to North America. With a book by David West Read, the Emmy Award-winning writer from “Schitt’s Creek,” and music from legendary five-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Max Martin, & Juliet uses some of the most beloved pop songs of the last three decades to tell a multi-generational story of self-discovery, empowerment and love.
This highly anticipated musical will play a limited eight-week engagement from June 22 to August 14, 2022 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Starring as Juliet is Lorna Courtney, a recent graduate from the University of Michigan’s highly regarded musical theatre programme who already has two Broadway credits: Dear Evan Hansen and Ivo van Hove’s 2020 revival of West Side Story. This will be her first professional leading role.
Paulo Szot, who won the Best Leading Actor in a Musical Tony® for Lincoln Center’s revival of South Pacific, stars as Lance. Paulo is well known for his performances at Metropolitan Opera, Scala di Milano, Paris Opera and other leading opera houses and concert halls around the world.
Betsy Wolfe stars as Anne Hathaway (no, not that one, but the wife of William Shakespeare). Betsy has an extensive resume of Broadway credits, including Falsettos, 110 in the Shade and Bullets Over Broadway.
Stark Sands, who won a Best Leading Actor in a Musical Tony® nomination for originating the role of Charlie Price in Kinky Boots, stars as Shakespeare. His other Broadway credits include To Kill a Mockingbird, Journey’s End (Tony® nomination) and American Idiot.
Justin David Sullivan, a New York-based young actor and singer originally from southern California, stars as May.
Melanie La Barrie stars as Nurse, a role she created in the premiere UK production. Originally from Trinidad, she has been a staple on the London stage for many years. She originated the role of the Librarian in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda, and starred in Wicked, Once on this Island, Les Misérables, Mary Poppins and many other musicals.
Ben Jackson Walker, another graduate of University of Michigan’s musical theatre programme, stars as Romeo.
Philippe Arroyo stars as Francois. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s theatre programme, his credits include the first national tour of Aladdin.
The Ensemble includes:
Toronto’s Brandon Antonio (Next to Normal, Mamma Mia!), Nico De Jesus (Pretty Woman, Newsies), Nicholas Edwards (Frozen), Katy Geraghty (Groundhog Day), Virgil Gadson After Midnight), Toronto’s Bobby "Pocket" Horner (“House of Hunniez Dance Crew”), Joomin Hwang (The Prom), Michael Iván Carrier (Once on this Island), Alaina Vi T.Maderal (Hamilton), Daniel J. Maldonado (Moulin Rouge! The Musical), Joe Moeller (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Brittany Nicholas (Mean Girls, Billy Elliot), Veronica Otim (Jagged Little Pill), Jasmine Rafael, Toronto’s Matt Raffy (Beauty and the Beast), Tiernan Tunnicliffe (Bat Out of Hell), and Rachel Webb (Hairspray).
THE STORY & MUSIC
This hilarious new musical comedy flips the script on the greatest love story ever told. & Juliet asks: what would happen next if Juliet didn’t end it all over Romeo? Get whisked away on a fabulous journey as Juliet ditches her famous ending for a fresh beginning and a second chance at life and love — her way.
Juliet’s new story bursts to life through a playlist of pop anthems as iconic as her name, including “Since U Been Gone,” “Roar,” “Baby One More Time,” “Larger Than Life,” “That’s The Way It Is” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
THE CREATIVE TEAM
All 30 songs in the show come from acclaimed songwriter and music producer Max Martin, and collaborators. Martin has had more #1 hits than any other artist this century. In fact, Martin is the songwriter with the third-most number-one singles on the Billboard chart’s history, behind only Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The list of artists he has worked with as a songwriter and/or producer is long and impressive: Celine Dion, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Usher, Avril Lavigne, Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Coldplay and many others. Martin is not only the source of all the songs in & Juliet, he is also one of the lead producers of this musical.
The book is by David West Read, the Emmy®-winning writer (and Toronto native) from “Schitt’s Creek,” for which he also served as executive producer. West Read’s plays have been presented on Broadway and in theatres across North America and include The Performers, The Dream of the Burning Boy and The Great Pretender.
& Juliet is directed by Luke Sheppard, who has quickly become one of the most sought after directors of musicals in London. His highly acclaimed production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights was a long-running hit in London. Other productions include Spring Awakening, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, Working, Cash Valentina and Peter and the Starcatcher.
Choreography is by Jennifer Weber, a New York-based director and choreographer whose original creation The HipHop Nutcracker has become an annual touring production and was filmed as a PBS special. She has worked at prestigious venues and festivals around the globe, including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow and the Stanislavsky Music Theatre.
The set design is by Soutra Gilmour, whose numerous designs for productions in London’s West End and on Broadway have received wide acclaim. Costumes are by Paloma Young. Lighting design is by Howard Hudson. Gareth Owen is the sound designer. Bill Sherman is the musical supervisor, orchestrator and arranger. J. Jared Janas is the hair designer. Casting is by Stephen Kopel and Carrie Gardner, CSA, with Canadian Casting by Stephanie Gorin, CSA.
Producers Max Martin and Tim Headington first premiered & Juliet at the Manchester Opera House, September 10 to October 12, 2019. This was the production’s out-of-town run before moving to London’s West End, where it began performances on November 2 at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Both audience and critics raved about the musical. The production continues to play an open-ended season (although it took a hiatus during the Covid pandemic from March 16, 2020 until September 23, 2021). The original producers of the West End production also include Martin Dodd, Jenny Petersson and Theresa Steele Page.
Strictly limited season: June 22 to August 14, 2022
The Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St West, Toronto
Performance Schedule: Tuesdays to Sundays 8 pm; Wednesdays 1:30 pm, Saturdays & Sundays 2 pm
Tickets start at $59
Tickets exclusively at www.mirvish.com and 1-800-461-3333.