Stage Door News

Toronto: Lena Hall to star in new musical “In Dreams” with music by Roy Orbison beginning September 26

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tony Award-winning actor Lena Hall will star in the new musical In Dreams from Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning and Olivier and Tony Award-nominated writer David West Read and multi-award-winning director Luke Sheppard – the team behind the smash hit & Juliet.

In Dreams will have its North American premiere September 26 to November 12 at the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre, after playing the Leeds Playhouse in the UK July 3 to August 5.

This original and exciting new musical uses Roy Orbison’s most iconic songs to tell a funny and poignant story about the former lead singer of a country rock band who, at a critical moment in her life, throws a party in a family-run Mexican restaurant to reconnect with old friends, while keeping her deeper motivations a secret.

Producer David Mirvish said: “It’s always exciting to begin a new project, and in this instance, it is especially meaningful as it comes from two extraordinary artists – David West Read and Luke Sheppard – reinterpreting the work of a music legend, Roy Orbison. As they achieved with & Juliet, David and Luke have found a way of mining Orbison’s immensely popular songs to tell a brand-new story. We are extremely proud to have the North American debut of this major new work right here in Toronto.”

The Cast:

Director Luke Sheppard said: “This show is a celebration of the power of people coming together, and what an incredible cast we have joining us to do just that. With extraordinary talent from both sides of the Atlantic, this company is going to lift the roof off Leeds Playhouse and the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre with music and laughter. It’s a privilege to have them join us and I can’t wait to get started.”

Broadway star and Tony Award-winning actor Lena Hall will play lead singer Kenna. San Francisco-born Lena has vast amounts of musical theatre experience with a number of stand-out roles including Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, for which she won a Tony Award fpr Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.

Lena will play opposite West End musical star Oliver Tompsett as Ramsey, a fiery and passionate drummer who crashes back into Kenna’s life after a long time apart. Best known for playing Fiyero in Wicked and Galileo in We Will Rock You in the West End, he recently created the role of Shakespeare in the multi-award-winning & Juliet.

Manuel Pacific plays restaurant owner Oscar. Manuel appeared as Chino in West Side Story at Manchester Royal Exchange, and recently in the Donmar Warehouse production of City of Angels at the Garrick Theatre. Gabriella García will play Oscar’s long-time girlfriend Nicole. Gabriella recently finished a successful run in A Streetcar Named Desire at London’s Almeida Theatre and also starred with Manuel as Maria in West Side Story at Manchester Royal Exchange.

Starring alongside them as married couple lyricist Jane and guitarist Donovan will be Sian Reese-Williams and Noël Sullivan. Sian is known as DI Cadi John, the lead role in the BBC hit detective show Craith, and as series regular Gennie Walker in Emmerdale. Her previous starring role at the Playhouse was in Alan Bennett’s Enjoy. Welsh singer Noël Sullivan first found fame on the ITV reality show Popstars as part of the winning band Hear’Say; he has starred as rock superstar Dewey Finn in the West End production of School of Rock and in the UK National Tour of We Will Rock You.

Broadway legend Alma Cuervo joins the company from New York as Oscar’s grandmother Ana Sofia with widower George played by Richard Trinder, best known as Augustus Rookwood in the acclaimed Harry Potter movies The Order of The Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, as well as Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! in London, and Leon Craig as Tom, Head Chef of the restaurant. Leon joins the company after starring in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at London’s Apollo and Los Angeles’s Ahmanson Theatre.

Further casting to be announced soon.

The Creative Team:

In Dreams is produced by David Mirvish, and John Sachs for Eclipse Live, with Sony Music.

Writer David West Read is Canadian writer and producer. He is the creator and showrunner of the new Apple TV+ series “The Big Door Prize,” and previously served as a writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed TV series Schitt’s Creek. His theatre work includes & Juliet, which played Manchester, the West End, his hometown Toronto and is now on Broadway, where it has recently received nine Tony Award nominations, including one for David for Best Book of a Musical; the Broadway comedy The Performers, and the Off-Broadway drama The Dream of the Burning Boy (Outer Critics and Drama League nominations).

Director Luke Sheppard has directed & Juliet (Manchester, West End, Toronto and Broadway). In his native England, he has directed The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Evening Standard Award Best Musical nomination), In the Heights (three Olivier Awards), My Son's a Queer But What Can You Do? ( Rent (Whatsonstage), Spring Awakening, What’s New Pussycat?, Billionaire Boy (UK Theatre Award for Best Production for Children) and Peter and the Starcatcher.

Working with David West Read and Luke Sheppard is Choreographer Fabian Aloise, best known for his Olivier Award nomination for Best Theatre Choreographer and Best Musical Revival of Evita, WhatsOnStage Award nomination for Bring It On and more recently Winner of Musical Theatre Review's Best Musical Award for Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder.

Set design will be by Tony Award-nominated Arnulfo Maldonado whose many productions across North America include the Tony-winning Best Musical A Strange Loop.

Fay Fullerton will provide costume design. Fay’s work recently included the world premiere of new musical Mandela at the Young Vic and The Drifters Girl in the West End

Lighting Design will be by Howard Hudson, who has been nominated for Best Lighting Design for a Musical at the 2023 Tony Awards for his work on & Juliet. He won the 2020 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Lighting Design and was also nominated for an Olivier Award.

Catherine Jayes joins the creative team as Music Supervisor. Catherine was previously Musical Director on The Color Purple at he Bernard Jacobs Theatre on Broadway and US tour which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical 2016 and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album 2017 and was last at the Leeds Playhouse as Musical Director on Animal Farm in 2008.

Completing the creative team will be Sound Designer Tom Marshall; Musical Director Patrick Hurley; Video Designer George Reeve; Casting Director Annelie Powell CDG; Stephen Kopel Casting Director (US). Their associates include: Tania Azevedo; Associate Director; Paris Green Associate Choreographer; Oscar Escobedo Associate Designer (US); Verity Sadler Associate Designer (UK); Laura Hunt Costume Supervisor; Callum Wills Sound Associate; and Alice Walters Casting Assistant.

In Dreams is part of the 2023-24 Mirvish Main Subscription Season. Subscriptions are now on sale

Single tickets to In Dreams will go on public sale on June 15 at 10AM. To sign up for priority access, go to