by Melissa Griegel
photos/video by Melissa Griegel Photography
The Unsinkable Molly Brown met with the press as it readies to make its return to Broadway with a new book, new lyrics, and an updated point-of-view thanks to three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes, The Pajama Game), who is directing and choreographing and Tony nominee librettist/lyricist Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Violet). During the course of his career, Scanlan has been approached over and over about revamping The Unsinkable Molly Brown and re-working the libretto. He politely declined each time. Being asked again, Scanlan decided that maybe this was meant to be and set to the task of thoroughly studying The Unsinkable Molly Brown for six months. The result is a vibrant new adaption of Meredith Willson’s show with a new book, updated lyrics, and some new songs by Scanlan.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown is based on an original book by Richard Morris, which was then adapted for the stage by Meredith Wilson (The Music Man). The title role of Molly Brown is energetically portrayed by Tony nominee Beth Malone (Fun Home). She is joined by David Aron Damane (The Book of Mormon, Big River, The Life) as JJ; Whitney Bashor (The Bridges of Madison County) as Julia; Omar Lopez-Cepero (On Your Feet!) as Vincenzo); Alex Gibson (SpongeBob SquarePants, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) as Erich; and Paul Montalban (Pacific Overtures, The King and I) as Arthur.
Led by Director/Choreographer Kathleen Marshall, the cast rounds out with Kaitlyn Davidon; Tyrone Davis, Jr.; Paula Legget Chase; Gregg Goodbrod; Michael Halling; Karl Josef Co; Nikka Graff Lanzarone; Shina Ann Morris; Kevin Quillon; and Coco Smith. Presented by Transport Group, the show’s creative team also includes Joey Chancy as Musical Director and Assistant Director/Choreographer Romney Sanders.
The musical comedy tells the rags-to-riches story of Margaret “Molly” Brown. Known for surviving the sinking of the Titanic, Molly Brown was a turn-of-the-century hero of the underdog, champion of women’s rights, fighter for labor rights, and advocate of immigration reform. The musical tells the love story of a woman who rejected the notion that it is a man’s world. She was a determined, progressive, and very vibrant woman who was very modern for her times.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown is as resilient as Molly herself. It first hit the Broadway stage in 1960. It’s return to the stage with Tony nominee Beth Malone at his helm, a talented cast, and a new book and lyrics by Dick Scanlan breathes new life into this classic tale.
Go see The Unsinkable Molly Brown at the Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street, NY. The show runs from Saturday, February 8th through Sunday, March 22, with it’s opening set for Wednesday, February 26th at 7:00 pm.