PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Paramount Theatre has announced the cast and design team for the world premiere musical “The Secret of My Success,” featuring a book by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, music and lyrics by Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler, and based on the 1987 movie starring Michael J. Fox.
Directed by Greenberg, the production features Billy Harrigan Tighe (Brantley Foster/Carlton Whitfield), Jeremy Peter Johnson (Piers Johnson), Heidi Kettenring (Vera Prescott), Barbara Robertson (Joanne Foster), Gabriel Ruiz (Lester Mann), Sara Sevigny (Sylvia Plotkin) and Ian Michael Stuart (Garth Portnoy). Ensemble members are Dara Cameron, Vasily Deris, Veronica Garza, Carisa Gonzalez, Madison Kauffman, Jake Morrissy, Camille Robinson, Alexis J. Roston, Haley Jane Schafer, Jonathan Schwart, Charles Emery Ward and Travis Austin Wright.
The production team includes Amber Mak, choreographer; Ian Weinberger, music supervisor; Tom Vendafreddo, music director/conductor; Jeff Kmiec, scenic designer; Mara Blumenfeld, costume designer; Greg Hofmann, lighting designer; Adam Rosenthal, sound designer; Mike Tutaj, projection designer; Katie Cordts, wig, hair and makeup designer; Jesse Gaffney, properties designer; Ethan Deppe, electronic music designer; Michael Cotey, assistant director; Charles Emery Ward, associate choreographer; Celia Villacres, associate music director/associate conductor; Amber Johnson, stage manager; and Kathleen Barrett, assistant stage manager.
Meet Brantley Foster, a young ambitious Midwesterner who moves to New York City to start his dream job at a major corporation, only to be laid off on the very first day. In his relentless enthusiasm to succeed, Brantley gets tangled up in a scheme in which he assumes the identity of rising executive Carlton Whitfield. As Brantley’s alter ego climbs the corporate ladder, tirelessly concealing his true identity, he falls in love with a beautiful colleague named Christy Lockhart and discovers his definition of success might be all wrong.
“I remember as a kid the thing I really loved about the movie was how hyper theatrical it is, just one person trying to pretend to be two people at the same time in the same place made all sorts of great comedic opportunities for him to have to keep all the balls in the air,” comments Rosen. “From a theatrical standpoint, there’s nothing more fun than watching somebody try to keep it all together when it could all just tumble in a moment.”
“We were given license by Universal Theatrical Group to watch the movie, absorb the core idea at the heart of it, and then move on and redevelop it, thinking of it in the now,” adds Greenberg. “So that’s what we’ve done; we’ve envisioned a new narrative that essentially follows the classic story of a young man who comes to New York to make his fortune, gets tangled up in a scheme wherein he moves into an empty office and pretends to be someone else and ultimately learns a great lesson and redefines the whole reason he came to New York in the first place.”
“The Secret of My Success” runs February 12-March 29 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.