Carmen Cusack and John Lloyd Young Join The Cast of FOR THE RECORD: SCORSESE at The Wallis

26/08/16 by Nora Dominick for broadwayworld.com

Revolutionizing the live musical theater experience, the acclaimed company For The Record makes its triumphant return to Los Angeles in a new production, For The Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem. This new show will bring the legendary filmmaker’s soundtracks to life in a new generation cabaret from September 21 through October 16 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. For The Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem is co-produced by The Wallis and Ad Astra Live, and is made possible by the generous support of David C. Bohnett.
bww-ftrFor The Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem introduces audiences to MARTY’S PLACE-a four tier venue rising from the depths of the orchestra pit to the height of the light grid-taking audiences from a Lower East Side dive bar to an Italian restaurant, a Las Vegas casino to a classic rock concert stage. As characters rise through the physical space so do their positions in life: from drunken degenerates at the bar to couples on dinner dates, the rich VIPs seated in the casino to the Gods of Rock looking down on us all. The eveningwill highlight 40 years of Scorsese’s storytelling through films such as GoodFellas, Casino, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and more.

The stellar ensemble cast-drawing talent from the worlds of stage, screen and music-includes Tony Award-winner John Lloyd Young (Broadway’s Jersey Boys), Tony Award-nominee Carmen Cusack (Broadway’s Bright Star), Pia Toscano (“American Idol”), Lindsey Gort (“The Carrie Diaries”), Grammy Award-nominee B. Slade, and For The Record alums James Byous, Dionne Gipson, Olivia Harris, Doug Kreeger (Broadway’s Les Miserables and The Visit), Justin Mortelliti, Jason Paige (“Original Pokemon Theme”) and Zak Resnick (Broadway’s Mamma Mia).

Directed by co-creator Anderson Davis, the immersive concert mash-up, where iconic music and moments from Scorsese’s movies spring to life with an epic soundtrack, includes doo-wop hits such as “Be My Baby” and “Chariot,” crooner standards including “My Way” and “Rags To Riches,” as well as classic rock anthems like “Comfortably Numb,” “House Of The Rising Sun,” “Gimme Shelter” and many more.

“I am very pleased that For The Record: Scorsese is our first production in my first season,” said The Wallis’ Artistic Director Paul Crewes. “We are producing a piece of theatre with FTR that transforms the traditional stage space and explores a truly immersive theatrical experience. From my first creative conversations with Shane and the FTR team, I knew we had found a unique and exciting collaborator.”

“Over the past year, we have been expanding the For The Record brand outside of Los Angeles by presenting our 1980’s inspired Brat Pack show on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Escape, opening “Baz (Luhrmann) – Star Crossed Love” at The Palazzo Theater in Las Vegas, and most recently announcing a partnership with Dick Clark productions and ABC to develop the series as live musical events for the network,” said co-creator/Executive Producer Shane Scheel. “We are thrilled to finally be back home in Los Angeles with this new partnership at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.”

Single tickets for For The Record: Scorsese are now available for $25 – $129. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.

About the Cast:
When James Byous (Travis) was in second grade, his class put on a production of Stone Soup for parents and friends. Every person in that crowd knew that James was a star, even if his role wasn’t the lead, and even if he had…two lines. Today that star power is made manifest on stages crossed the land and he always has more than two lines. This production of For The Record: Scorsese marks James’ 5th happy year working with FTR and the reprisal of one of his favorite roles

Carmen Cusack (Ginger) just concluded her critically acclaimed and Tony Award-nominated starring role as ‘Alice Murphy’ in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Broadway musical Bright Star. It was her first Broadway role. Previously, she starred in the Chicago premiere of The First Wives Club: The Musical, and she received a Jeff Award nomination for her portrayal of ‘Dot/Marie’ in Sunday in the Park with George at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She starred in the world premiere of Bright Star at The Old Globe, followed by a run at Kennedy Center for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. She played ‘Lynn Gardner’ in Carrie at MCC Theatre, ‘Nellie Forbush’ in Lincoln Center’s national tour of South Pacific, for which she also received a Helen Hayes nomination, and ‘Elphaba’ in the first US national tour and Melbourne, Australia productions of Wicked. Her West End credits include ‘Chesty Prospects’ in Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, ‘Eva Cassidy’ in Over the Rainbow in the UK and Ireland, ‘Fantine’ in Les Miserables, ‘Rose’ in The Secret Garden (also for the Royal Shakespeare Company and at Stratford-upon-Avon), ‘Kim’ in Personals, and ‘Christine’ in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. She studied opera at the University of Northern Texas.

Dionne Gipson (Diane) is an original cast member of For The Record and made her Los Angeles debut in one of the first of many shows starting in December of 2010. She has starred in hit musicals such as Dreamgirls, Purlie, The Life and For Colored Girls. She has sung professionally for Rick Springfield, Wayne Brady and Public Enemy, as well as written songs for soundtracks and played roles in the films Josie and the Pussycats, Trois and Black Dynamite. She has also co­-written along­side greats like Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Raphael Saadiq and Chris Collingwood. She has worked internationally in Australia with the revered and legendary director actress and producer Debbie Allen in her new musical Freeze Frame as well as her nationally known holiday spectacular The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. She recently completed filming on the ABC hit show “Criminal Minds,” the film Illicit, starring David Ramsey and Vivica Fox and can be seen on Netflix in the new comedy “Pee Wee’s Big Holiday.”

Lindsey Gort (Iris) is best known as one of the leads of CW’s “The Carrie Diaries,” playing a young ‘Samantha Jones,’ the iconic character from “Sex and the City.” Lindsey recurred on Freeform’s “Baby Daddy” and is currently recurring on TV Land’s “Impastor,” as well as Amazon’s new series “The Last Tycoon.” Lindsey was also a series regular on the CBS pilot “Real Good People” and the FOX pilot “Urban Cowboy.” Lindsey made her mark in the world of features when she appeared in 2 Guns, which starred Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Lindsey was just seen as the lead in the independent feature How Sarah Got Her Wings, opposite Derek Theler. In addition to her work on the screen, Lindsey has performed extensively on stage. She has been seen in For The RecoRD Productions numerous times, including the Quentin Tarantino, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis and Boogie Nights runs of the show.

Olivia Harris (Teresa) made her For The Record debut fresh out of college as ‘Juliet’ in For The Record: Baz Luhrmann and went on to play Juliet in their production of BAZ at Mandalay Bay on the Vegas Strip. She has also performed in FTR’s Dear John Hughes locally in Los Angeles, with Broadway in Chicago, and on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship. Olivia writes her own music and plays gigs around Los Angeles. She released her first EP Lonestar Heart this year and her first album Meraki will be released in 2017. Her music is available on Spotify, iTunes and at www.oliviaharrisperforms.com. Olivia can be next seen playing opposite John Hawkes and Molly Parker on Netflix in “The Playroom.”

Doug Kreeger’s (Jake) Broadway credits include: Les Miserables (Broadhurst Theatre), The Visit (Ambassador Theatre, Actors Fund Concert); and Off-Broadway/NY credits include: Rooms: A Rock Romance (New World Stages, cast recording), Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story (York Theatre, cast recording), Departure Lounge (Public Theatre), The Last Castrato (Connelly Theater), Judas & Me (NYMF), Yank! (NYMF), Swimming Upstream (NY Fringe) and Veritas (NY Fringe). His National Tour credits include: Peter Pan; and his international tour credits: include Hair (cast recording) and Grease. His regional credits include: Arkansas Rep, Barrington Stage, Bay Street Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Metrostage, Pittsburgh CLO, Reagle Players, Signature Theatre, The Old Globe, and Yale Rep. He has had lead roles at Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Hall. Doug has received two New York Fringe Awards, two Helen Hayes Award Nominations and a Po’okela Award. He was born and raised in Honolulu and attended Punahou School. He received his BFA from Tisch at New York University, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He co-wrote The Demise: A Rock Opera, as well as essays published by The Huffington Post.

Justin Mortelliti (Jordan) was previously seen in For The Record: Boogie Nights and For The Record: Scorsese. Originally from New Jersey, Justin Holds a BFA from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and The London Academy of Theater. Justin was last seen as ‘Drew’ in the original Las Vegas production of Rock of Ages. His Off-Broadway/NY credits include: The Columbine Project, Rock n Roll Debauchery (42West); and his regional credits include: Rent (Roger) and Pippin (Pippin). His Los Angeles theater credits include: The Bedroom Window (The Odyssey), Happy Days (The Falcon Theatre), Expecting to Fly (The Elephant Theatre), The House of Yes (Stage 52), Twist (Avery Schreiber). His television and film credits include: “Orange is the New Black,” “Numb3rs,” “Victorious,” The Collection and Dog Tags. Justin is also a singer/songwriter. His solo albums, The Prince of April and The Fall and Rise can be found on iTunes.

Jason Paige, (Frankie) an original member of For The Record, shared the stage singing with Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Liza Minelli, Whitney Houston, Oleta Adams and Enrique Iglesias, among others. He was also the lead singer for Blood Sweat & Tears. His singing characters are featured in films Annie, Jersey Boys, Muppet Movie and Sausage Party. His most recognizable jingles include Mountain Dew’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Coke’s “Catch The Feeling,” Pepto Bismol’s anthem and the ever-present “Original Pokemon Theme.” His big recording highlights include: Foreigner, Scorpions, Meatloaf, Kiss, Billy Joel and Motley Crue. Theatrically, he originated the role of ‘Joe’ in Zappa’s Joe’s Garage-and co-produced with director Martha Demson-and starred in Ty Taylor’s The Existents, both at Open Fist Theater. He appeared in Rent at Hollywood Bowl, directed by Neil Patrick Harris; in Hair, directed by Jim and (Jerry); as ‘Jesus’ in Godspell;and as ‘Judas’ in Jesus Christ Superstar. Jason has appeared in the film Election, soap operas and many national commercials.

Zak Resnick’s (Henry) Broadway credits include: Mamma Mia! (Sky). His Off-Broadway credits include: Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story (Bert); Once Upon A Mattress (Sir Harry), directed by Jack Cummings III for Transport Group; and Disaster (Chad). Zak’s television credits include: “Lovestruck: The Musical”for ABC Family, and In-development credits include: Benny & Joon (Sam) for Transport Group; Lempicka (Tadeusz), Brave New World (John). Zak received a BFA Drama from Carnegie Mellon University and was an acting student of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia.

B. SLADE (Stacks) has released several hundred songs on over 30 albums over a span of 20 years, while producing several others for both gospel and secular artists. He has won seven Stellar Awards, a GMA Award and received 3 Grammy Award nominations-including one for Best Soul Gospel Album for his 2004 gold album Out The Box; one in 2009 for Best Urban/ Soul Alternative Performance for his single “Blend” from his 2009 mainstream album Unspoken; and a third in 2014 for his writing and co-production on Angie Fisher’s debut hit single “I.R.S.” which received a nomination for Best Traditional R&B performance. His musical efforts have been known to blend a smorgasbord of styles including pop, R&B, jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, rock, latin, electro, punk and trance, and has created a distinct sound and eclectic style of music.

Pia Toscano (Karen) made a name for herself as a vocalist with a rich, emotionally transparent voice, clearly influenced by the likes of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Etta James. Performing since the age of four, Toscano was widely considered one of “American Idol”s Season 10 frontrunners thanks to her powerhouse vocal ability and undeniable beauty. Her elimination was known as one of the most shocking in “American Idol” History, but that didn’t stop her momentum. Toscano toured with “American Idol’s Live,” Jennifer Lopez (including her All I Have Las Vegas Residency) and has performed on “The Ellen Show,” “The Tonight Show,” “Live with Regis & Kelly,” “Good Morning America” and more. Toscano has also recently released two new hot singles: the powerful ballad, “You’ll Be King”, which demonstrate her vocal range and vulnerability, and the pop dance track “PyRo.”

John Lloyd Young (Sam) originated the role of ‘Frankie Valli’ in the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys, for which he won the Best Actor Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards. He sings lead vocals on the Grammy Award-winning, certified Platinum cast album. Young reprised his role in Jersey Boys on London’s West End and for director Clint Eastwood in the Warner Brothers film. Rated five stars on Amazon, Young’s debut album “My Turn…” recreates classic hits from ’60s and ’70s R&B that Young has been singing in sold-out solo concerts across the country. A resident of Los Angeles, Young is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by Barack Obama.

About the Director:
Anderson Davis joined the For The Record team adapting and directing the Paul Thomas Anderson chapter of the series, Boogie Nights. He has since become Artistic Director of the company and gone on to develop and direct each FTR production including BAZ: Star Crossed Love at the Palazzo Theater in Las Vegas, Tarantino at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Dear John Hughes in Los Angeles and Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse. Originally from Louisiana, he began his career as an actor on the Broadway stage. Soon after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Davis joined the Broadway company of LES MISERABLES. He spent the next several years starring in leading roles around the country including ‘Lt. Cable’ in South Pacific (directed by Bartlett Sher). He has since turned to directing full time with current projects that include The Brat Pack on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Escape and an upcoming live televised musical event on ABC.

About the Choreographers:
Nick Florez and RJ Durrell have artistic directed and choreographed for artists including Katy Perry, P!nk, Britney Spears, Madonna, Fifth Harmony and more. Television performances include: “Super Bowl XLIX”, the most-watched program in American Television history, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Dancing With the Stars”, the Grammy Awards, Billboards, VMAs, CMAs, and the EPIX concert specials Katy Perry’s “Prismatic Tour” and P!nk’s “Truth About Love Tour.” Nick and RJ choreographed Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Special starring Dick Van Dyke and Derek Hough, as well as ABC’s upcoming series “America’s Greatest Hits.”

About the Production Team:
The creative team includes: Matt Steinbrenner and Kyle Courter (Set Design), Steve Mazurek (Costume, Wig and Makeup Design), Dan Efros and Michael Berger (Lighting Design), Ben Soldate (Sound Design), Cassie Russek (Wig and Makeup Design), Carrisa Huizenga (Prop Design), Christopher Lloyd Bratten (Original Arrangement), Sumie Maeda (Associate Director), Beth Lipari (Casting), Jesse Vargas (Music Supervision and Arrangements), Lora K. Powell (Production Stage Manager), Rick V. Moreno (Assistant Stage Manager) and Nick Connell (Assistant Music Director).

About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented over 100 dance, theatre, opera, classical music and children’s programs to an ever expanding audience. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to be a vital cultural hub that uses unique arts events and education programming to entertain, enlighten and inspire children and adults in our community and across the nation.

Nominated for 26 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards and the recipient of five architectural awards since opening in 2013, The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike.

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