A Class Act

The Tony Award winning lyricist of A Chorus Line, Edward Kleban, was hell-bent on writing both the words and music for a Broadway show, a goal unrealised in 1987 when he died of cancer at the age of 48. Only posthumously would Ed’s songs garner the acclaim they always deserved, in the biographical musical A Class Act.

A Class Act dramatises Ed’s often hilarious, ultimately heartbreaking journey. An ensemble cast inhabit the colourful gallery of friends and loved ones in Ed’s life, including the legendarily acerbic Lehman Engle, the relentlessly peppy Marvin Hamlisch, and Über-creative Michael Bennett. Fourteen years after his death, one of the theater’s unsung champions finally got the recognition he always deserved in this vibrant musical about musicals.

Workshops and audition dates:

Presentation evening – 9th January
Workshops – 16/18/23/30th January
Auditions – 4th February

See below for cast breakdowns. Note, all actors other than Ed will appear in company and chorus numbers. To access all of the audition materials and more information in the shared Dropbox folder, click here.

A Class Act – Characters

The central character is Ed Kleban

The playing age should be 30’s/40’s.

Born in the Bronx in 1939; he wrote the lyrics for A Chorus Line when he was 36 (1975); but sadly died young at the age of 48 in 1988. The story covers the period 1958 to 1988.

In A Class Act Ed’s friends gather at his memorial to try and figure him out.

As the friends look back on Ed’s life, he gets the chance to help them understand who is really was.

As he describes it “With all my virtues and my lies. With all the pleasure and the pain around the eyes”.

He is described as: An aspiring songwriter. Charming and vulnerable. A man who wears his phobias and his affections on his sleeve.

He is a smoker, balding and not a body builder.

The other 5 men and the 6 women will all play the friends, the lovers and the work colleagues who gave shape to Ed’s life.

Marvin Hamlisch – The playing age should be 20’s/30’s.

The composer worked with Ed Kleban on A Chorus Line but had wide ranging independent success (including writing the music for They’re Playing Our Song).

Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only twelve people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. This collection of all four is referred to as an “EGOT”. He is one of only two people (along with Richard Rodgers) to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize.

He appears in the show when aged 29 (in 1974).

Talented and energetic; he is as outgoing as Ed Kleban is introverted.

He is described as “tall and gangly, with the high spirited enthusiasm of a Great Dane puppy”.

Lehman Engel – The playing age should be 40’s/50’s.

Lehman Engel was the leader of the BMI Musical Theatre Worksop and a composer and conductor. He leads “Charm Song”.

He is very much the father figure to students at the BMI Musical Workshop and will be seen as such throughout the show.

From Mississippi; he was sophisticated and distinguished; Jewish and gay.

Lehman Engel won Broadway’s Tony Award twice as Best Conductor and Musical Director: in 1951 for The Consul and in 1953 for Wonderful Town and Gilbert and Sullivan Season. He was also nominated in the same category three other times: in 1959 for Goldilocks, in 1960 for Take Me Along and in 1964 for What Makes Sammy Run? This made him the most nominated Conductor and Musical Director, a category that no longer exists.

Bobby – The playing age can be 20’s to 40’s.

As with Ed’s character, Bobby appears between 1958 and 1988.

He is a drummer and aspiring songwriter. He has some rough edges but he is Ed’s loyal and loving friend.

He comes across as energetic and fun as well as caring. Has his own brief musical “burst” with “Bobby’s Song”.

The actor will also play the Studio Engineer and Tony’s MC.

Charley – The playing age can be 20’s to 40’s

Charley is a fellow student at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop with Ed. Features in “Paris through the window”.

Charley is the “Ivy League” type amongst the students. Full of his own abilities. He is talented but very competitive and a little pretentious.

Charley appears during the show from 1958 to 1988.

The actor will also play Jena-Claude who appears as Sophie’s boyfriend in Act 2.

Michael Bennett – The playing age should be 30’s.

Michael, the choreographer of A Chorus Line appears age 30 (1974/75)

Michael Bennett (April 8, 1943 – July 2, 1987) was an American musical theatre director, writer, choreographer, and dancer. He won seven Tony Awards for his choreography and direction of Broadway shows and was nominated for an additional eleven. Bennett choreographed Promises, Promises, Follies and Company.

He is charismatic, Machiavellian and brilliant.

Sophie – The playing age should be 20’s/40’s.

Sophie is a Doctor. She is also Ed’s first love.

The character has great warmth and empathy for Ed. Very intelligent, grounded and wry.

Her solo number “Next Best Thing to Love” truly tugs at heart strings.

The actor will also appear as a student in the main BMI Musical Theatre Workshop – Charm Song number.

Lucy – The playing age should be 30’s/40’s.

Lucy appears in the show between 1958 and 1988.

She is a singer in Broadway musicals. She becomes Ed’ girlfriend later in Ed’s life.

She is described as pretty, sweet and good natured. She gives to others and is perhaps too nice for success in the theatre world.

Her main solo number i2 “Broadway Boogie Woogie”, but also duets with Ed in the moving “I Choose You”.

Felicia de la Flores – The playing age should be 30’/40’s.

Felicia is an aspiring songwriter. She later becomes a music industry executive.

She is glamorous, confident and described as a “power house”.

Her solo number is “Do it Again”.

She is someone who intends to be “The First Woman who…..”

Mona – The playing age should be 20’s/30s.

Mona is also an aspiring songwriter.  She is seductive and kittenish – featuring in the solo song with her name “Mona”.

She is not very talented but is attracted to me who can further her career.

Rebecca/Dr Nodine/Dancer – Playing age 20’s to 40’s.

Dancers appear during the show in a number of places during the storyline and will be included in all the company/chorus numbers.

It is proposed that the actor playing Dancer 1/Rebecca will also play Dr Nodine – the psychiatrist who cares for Ed.

Rebecca and Sarah will feature as dancers in “Broadway Boogie Woogie”.

Actor 6 – Sarah/ Dancer – Playing age 20’s to 40’s.

Dancers appear during the show in a number of places during the storyline and will be included in all the company/chorus numbers.

Rebecca and Sarah will feature as dancers in “Broadway Boogie Woogie”.

A Class Act – Music and Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Book by Linda Klein and Lonny Price
 
Originally Directed on Broadway by Lonny Price
 
A CLASS ACT was originally produced by Manhattan Theatre Club and previously developed by Musical Theatre
 
An amateur production by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.

Cast & Creative

Creative Team

Role Name
Director Andy Yeates
Choreographer Gita Singham-Willis
Musical Director Artemis Read
Assistant Director Darren Moss
Stage Manager Ian Nethersell
Deputy Stage Manager Meg Hird
Production Manager Lottie Walker
Lighting Designer Ed Pagett
Sound Designer and Operator Stuart Vaughan
Costume Design and Supervisor Terrie Cresswell
Hampton Hill Theatre Liason Wesley Henderson Roe
Box office Manager Lizzie Brignall
Publicity Design Christopher Pearce

Show Dates

Date Time Location Book
June 5, 2017 19:45 Hampton Hill Theatre Book Tickets
June 6, 2018 19:45 Hampton Hill Theatre Book Tickets
June 7, 2018 19:45 Hampton Hill Theatre Book Tickets
June 8, 2018 19:45 Hampton Hill Theatre Book Tickets
June 9, 2018 14:30 Hampton Hill Theatre Book Tickets
June 9, 2018 19:45 Hampton Hill Theatre Book Tickets

Show Date: 5 June - 9 June 2018

Venue: Hampton Hill Theatre

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