In the summer of 2000, Tony Award winning actress-dancer Chita Rivera played "media superstar" Magdelena Monteverde in an American summer tour of Casper the Musical, beginning June 5 at Pittsburgh CLO. Linda A Lavin was the PSM. Jason Trubitt and I assisted as her Stage Managers.
Before joining, it was said time-and-again ... this will be the NEW ANNIE! I signed on thinking the show would run for years and years. (I accepted a position on the South Pacific tour and only was involved in the initial PCLO run)
After its initial summer tour, it closed never to heard from again.
The show is a "totally revised" version of the family musical — based on the ghostly comic book and cartoon character — that played London's West End in 1999. The tuner has been so altered by authors Stephen Cole and David H. Bell and composers Matthew Ward and Henry Marsh that the show is being billed as a world premiere. Casper was produced by Pittsburgh CLO (Civic Light Opera) June 5-24, and tours to Kansas City Starlight Musicals (July 15-22), Atlanta's Theater of the Stars (July 24-29) and Dallas Summer Musicals (July 31 August 5).
David H. Bell directed and choreographed. Lainie Sakakura co-choreographs. Ned Ginsburg orchestrates.
The cast: Chita Rivera as Magdelena Monteverde, Paul Tiesler as Casper, Tim Hartman as Stretch, Jamie Torcellini as Stinkie, LaParee Young as Fatso, Mitchell Jarvis as Donald, Cynthia Thomas as Lane, Tina Johnson as Minnie, Kristen Graeber as Gretchen, Leo Ash Evens (Ensemble), Anne Lauterbach (Ensemble), Tim Brady (Ensemble), Gerard Canonico as Bradley, B.J. Eyth as Pierce, Laurie Gamache as Hathaway, David Larsen (Ensemble), Gaelen Gilliland as Coco, Jesse Nager as Belmondo, Nicholas Belton (Ensemble), Courtney Neville as Precious, Jason Patrick Sands as Chuck, Matthew Thibedeau as Armondo, Zakiya Young (Ensemble), Anika Bobb as Bettina and Eric Daniel Santagata as Guido.