Imperial Theatre, (12/07/2006 - 12/17/2006)

First Preview: Nov 20, 2006
Opening Date: Dec 07, 2006
Closing Date: Dec 17, 2006
Total Previews: 18
Total Performances: 14

Category: Musical, Comedy, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President)

Produced by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Live Nation, Roy Miller, Dan Markley, Ruth Hendel, Danzansky Partners and Jam Theatricals; Associate Producer: Sonny Everett and Mariano Tolentino Jr.

Book by David Lindsay-Abaire; Music by Tom Kitt; Lyrics by Amanda Green; Based on the novel "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby; Based on the film by Touchstone Pictures; Musical Director: Adam Ben-David; Music orchestrated by Tom Kitt and Alex Lacamoire; Vocal arrangements by Stephen Oremus

Directed by Walter Bobbie; Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli; Associate Director: Marc Bruni

Scenic Design by Anna Louizos; Costume Design by Theresa Squire; Lighting Design by Ken Billington; Sound Design by Acme Sound Partners and Nevin Steinberg; Wig Design by Charles G. LaPointe; Associate Scenic Design: Donyale Werle and Todd Potter; Associate Costume Design: Heather Dunbar; Associate Lighting Design: John Demous; Moving Light Programmer: David Arch

General Manager: John S. Corker; Company Manager: Brig Berney; Associate Gen. Mgr: R. Erin Craig

Production Supervisor: Steven Beckler; Technical Supervisor: Brian Lynch; Production Stage Manager: Steven Beckler; Stage Manager: Thomas Gates

Musical Coordinator: Michael Keller; Musical Supervisor: Alex Lacamoire; Conducted by Adam Ben-David; Piano/Harmonica: Adam Ben-David; Associate Conductor: Matt Gallagher; Organ/Keyboard: Matt Gallagher; Guitars: Kenny Brescia; Guitars/Sitar/Banjo/Mandolin: Michael Aarons; Bass: Randy Landau; Drums/Percussion Damien Bassman; Reeds: Dan Willis; Trumpet: Bud Burridge; Violin: Antoine Silverman; Cello: Peter Sachon; Music Copying Emily Grishman Music Preparation; Synthesizer Programmer: Jim Abbott

Casting: Telsey + Company; Press Representative: Sam Rudy Media Relations; Marketing: Scott A. Moore; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus; Dance Captain: Paul Castree

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Opening Night Cast

Will ChaseRob
Jenn ColellaLaura
Christian AndersonDick
Justin BrillFuton Guy
Jeb BrownIan
Middle-Aged Guy
Andrew C. CallHipster
Matt CaplanGuy with Mohawk
Jay KlaitzBarry
Caren Lyn ManuelSarah
Rachel SternLiz
Emily SwallowCharlie
Marie LaSalle
Jon Patrick WalkerT.M.P.M.I.T.W.
Anne WarrenPenny
Back-up Singer
Kirsten WyattAnna

Swings: Paul Castree, George Merrick, Betsy Morgan, Tom Plotkin and J.B. Wing

Understudies: Justin Brill (Dick), Andrew C. Call (Barry, Bruce, T.M.P.M.I.T.W.), Matt Caplan (Barry, Rob), Paul Castree (Dick), Caren Lyn Manuel (Charlie, Jackie, Liz, Marie LaSalle), George Merrick (Ian, Middle-Aged Guy), Betsy Morgan (Alison, Anna, Charlie, Jackie, Liz, Marie LaSalle), Tom Plotkin (Bruce, Ian, Middle-Aged Guy, T.M.P.M.I.T.W.), Emily Swallow (Laura), Jon Patrick Walker (Rob), Anne Warren (Laura) and J.B. Wing (Alison, Anna, Charlie, Jackie, Liz, Marie LaSalle)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2007 Best Scenic Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Anna Louizos


AP: "A genial 'High Fidelity' sings"

There used to be room on Broadway for genial. Shows maybe not of blockbuster quality, but, taken on less demanding terms, enjoyable nonetheless.

"High Fidelity," which opened Thursday at the Imperial Theatre, belongs to that class of musical. The production, based on Nick Hornby's delightful novel and the John Cusack movie, is bright, breezy entertainment - not a life-changing experience but notable in several respects.

It has brought playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, author of "Rabbit Hole," "Fuddy Meers" and other fine plays, into the ranks of musical-theater librettists, not exactly a growth profession. Lindsay-Abaire has done a credible job condensing and dramatizing Hornby's tale for the stage. And director Walter Bobbie has kept the story percolating nicely.

It's the saga of a thirty-something slacker named Rob who has never quite grown up. The man runs a used record store in Brooklyn (the location has been transplanted from London of the novel and Chicago in the film).

Rob's life revolves around vinyl, so to speak. Yet his pop-music-obsessed existence now has been disrupted by the breakup of his relationship with Laura, a lawyer who recently has gone from Legal Aid to corporate law. Their split preoccupies him and the musical and dredges up memories of a parade of other old girlfriends, too.

"High Fidelity" introduces the songwriting team of Tom Kitt and Amanda Green to the big time. Kitt's music is efficient and sometimes better than that, particularly in the rock-fueled comedy numbers. Maybe that's because Green's lyrics are fresh and often funny, a reminder that she is the daughter of legendary Broadway lyricist Adolph Green. Taken together, Green's words and Kitt's melodies do something that every good musical should try to accomplish - define character.

"High Fidelity" showcases an ingratiating cast of largely unknown performers. The show stars Will Chase and Jenn Colella as the pulled-apart lovers. Chase is a personable leading man, unaffected yet appealing as he acts out Rob's increasing frustration. Colella, who doesn't have nearly enough to do, possesses one of those clear, crisp Olivia Newton-John voices - and that's a compliment.

But then this is a "guy" musical with a strong male supporting cast. It features Jay Klailz (think a young Jason Alexander with a touch of Nathan Lane) as a belligerent, album-addicted, record-store clerk (the Jack Black character in the movie) and a beanpole named Christian Anderson as his shy, nerdy accomplice. They are comic delights.

The hero always has to have a best (female) friend. Here she's played by a robust Rachel Stern who wails her way through the reasons why Rob can't sustain a romantic relationship. It features the best of Christopher Gattelli's too-brief choreography.

The action moves effortlessly through designer Anna Loulzos' witty, fold-out set that cleverly morphs from Rob's cluttered record store to his album-filled apartment where these treasures are arranged not alphabetically, not chronologically but autobiographically - "the order in which they were purchased."

Much of Kitt's music's pays homage to the pop music of the last several decades. There is even an extended send-up of Bruce Springsteen with Jon Patrick Walker effectively playing the Boss in this fantasy sequence.

Those of us more familiar with M&M's than Eminem - my idea of pop music is Louis Armstrong's rendition of "Hello, Dolly!" undoubtedly missed some of the more current musical references. But no matter. Theatergoers so impaired will get the general idea of what is going on.

"High Fidelity" is the latest in a trend of stage adaptations of movie hits - reworkings that have included "Footloose," "Saturday Night Fever," "The Wedding Singer," "Dirty Dancing" (now in London and next year in Toronto) and "Legally Blonde," opening on Broadway in the spring.

Most have been negligible in their impact on musical theater. "High Fidelity" won't trailblaze either. But its charms are considerable and don't be surprised if you fall under its spell.


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