Nikki M. James, who won a Tony Award for her appearance in The Book of Mormon, will appear as Eileen Sherwood in LA Opera's December presentation of Wonderful Town. She joins a cast led by fellow Tony Award winner Faith Prince as Ruth Sherwood, that also includes Broadway stars Marc Kudisch (Robert Baker), Roger Bart (narrator and other roles) and Ben Crawford (Wreck). The three semi-staged concert performances, taking place at at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion from December 2 through 4, will be directed by David Lee, choreographed by Peggy Hickey and conducted by LA Opera's Resident Conductor Grant Gershon.
Tony Abatemarco joins the cast as Mr. Appopolous, landlord to the Sherwood sisters. Also featured are several members of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program: Elizabeth Zharoff (Violet), Brian Michael Moore (Officer Lonigan), Theo Hoffman (First Editor, Cop) Carlos Enrique Santelli (Cop) and Josh Wheeker (Cop).
Nikki M. James most recently starred in CBS’ quirky series Braindead. She also appeared this year in a guest arc on the hit series The Good Wife. She originated the role of Nabalungi in the hit Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She went on to star as Éponine in the 2014 Broadway revival of Les Misérables. Other theater productions include All Shook Up and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on Broadway, as well as Romeo and Juliet, Caesar and Cleopatra alongside Christopher Plummer, The Wiz, Twelfth Night, Bernarda Alba, House of Flowers and Preludes. She has appeared in a variety of TV shows such as 30 Rock, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Blacklist. Her film credits include Lucky Stiff and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
David Lee most recently directed Tyne Daly in Dear World at the Valley Performing Arts Center and the west coast premiere of Casa Valentina at the Pasadena Playhouse. A nine-time Emmy Award-winning director, writer and producer for television, he is the co-creator of Wings and Frasier, served as writer/producer for Cheers, and directed multiple episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. His prolific work in theater also includes productions for Papermill Playhouse, Williamstown Theater Festival, Two River Theater Company, numerous productions for Reprise, and South Pacific at the Hollywood Bowl with Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell.
Performance Dates and Times
There will be three performances of Wonderful Town at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012):
• Friday, December 2, 2016, at 8pm
• Saturday, December 3, 2016, at 8pm
• Sunday, December 4, 2016, at 2pm
About Wonderful Town
Brimming with Broadway snap and sizzle, Wonderful Town kicks off LA Opera's three-season celebration leading up to Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday in 2018. Bernstein's beloved score and the brilliant lyrics by Comden and Green make Wonderful Town one of the greatest treasures of Broadway's Golden Age. Two sisters move to New York, eager to take the big city by storm. One can't find a man no matter what she does, and the other can't keep them away. The original 1953 Broadway musical starred Rosalind Russell in a legendary performance as Ruth Sherwood.
Wonderful Town is a musical adaptation of My Sister Eileen, a 1940 play by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov based on a series of short stories by Ruth McKenney, originally published in The New Yorker and reprinted in book form in 1938.
Tickets are on sale now. Tickets begin at $24 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, by phone at 213.972.8001 or online at LAOpera.org. For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.