ANA VILLAFAÑE and PHOEBE PANARETOS
JOIN MATT DOYLE AS FRANK
AVA GARDNER & NANCY SINATRA
Birmingham Rep from
23 September – 28 October 2023
The complete cast of over 20 actors who will be performing in Sinatra The Musical – the major new musical based on the life and career of the legendary artist and cultural icon which premieres at Birmingham Rep in September 2023 – was revealed today (Thursday 20 July 2023). Joining the already announced Tony Award-winning Matt Doyle as Sinatra are Ana Villafañe as the movie goddess Ava Gardner and Phoebe Panaretos as Frank’s first wife, Nancy Sinatra. Dawn Buckland will take on the role of Dolly Sinatra, with Vincent Riotta as Marty Sinatra, Carl Patrick as George Evans and the role of Little Nancy will be shared by Amelia Connor, Effie Gell and Isla Granville. The cast is completed by Maddy Ambus (Marlene Dietrich), Lindsay Atherton (Swing), Tyler OrphéBaker (Nat King Cole), Greg Bernstein (Gene Kelly), Samara Casteallo (Ensemble), Helen Colby (Hedda Hopper) Alastair Crosswell (Ensemble), Frances Dee (Judy Garland), Alex Gibson-Giorgio (Nelson Riddle), Ryesha Higgs (Billie Holiday), Stevie Hutchinson (Lee Mortimer), Lottie Power (Lana Turner), Spin (Sammy Davis, Jr.) and John Stacey (Mitch Miller).
A group photograph of the cast with Tina Sinatra by Ellie Kurttz can be downloaded here.
Matt Doyle won the 2022 Tony Award for ‘Best Featured Actor in a Musical’ for his performance as Jamie in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company (directed by Marianne Elliott) for which he also won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and received a Drama League Award nomination. His Broadway credits also include Tony-winning Musicals The Book of Mormon (in the lead role of Elder Price) and Spring Awakening; ‘Best Play’ winner War Horse; and the revival of the beloved musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie. Regionally, he starred in the world premiere of the Huey Lewis musical, The Heart of Rock & Roll at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego; and played Melchoir in the national tour of Spring Awakening. His Off-Broadway and regional credits include Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, A Clockwork Orange, Brooklynite, Giant, and Jasper in Deadland. On screen, he has appeared in The Code (CBS), The Original Gossip Girl, and returned to the show in the HBO Max reboot. He can also be seen in the indie feature Private Romeo, and the short film, The Albatross Cafe. Matt has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops, at symphonies across The United States and Canada, and continues to headline a sold-out solo show throughout New York City and beyond. Doyle is currently finishing his run starring as Seymour in the Westside Theatre’s, Off-Broadway production of, Little Shop of Horrors.
Ana Villafañe made her Broadway debut originating the role of Gloria Estefan in the Tony-nominated hit musical On Your Feet. She won a Theatre World award for the role and was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards. Ana then appeared as Nina Rosario in the Kennedy Center’s 2018 production of In the Heights and made her Off-Broadway debut in MCC’s critically acclaimed Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties, earning her second Drama League Award in 2019. In 2021, Villafañe returned to Broadway starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago (Broadway re-opening cast). She plays Dr. Valentina Castro on hit medical drama New Amsterdam on Netflix (NBC), and KT on Younger (Paramount+) from executive producer Darren Star. Ana will be making her feature film debut starring as Alina Fernandez in Castro’s Daughter opposite James Franco, directed by Miguel Bardem.
Phoebe Panaretos made international headlines when she was handpicked by Baz Lurhmann to play the lead role of Fran in the World Premiere of the stage adaptation of Strictly Ballroom the Musical directed by Lurhmann. Her other theatre credits include: Fantastic Mr Fox for Sydney Theatre Company, Zorro at Charing Cross Theatre, Lazarus and Singin’ in the Rain for The Production Company, American Idiot for Shake and Stir and Connie Francis in Dream Lover – the Bobby Darin Musical. Her TV and film credits include: Greatest Days and Mr & Mrs Murder.
Full cast biographies and headshots can be downloaded here.
It is New Year’s Eve, 1942, and a skinny 27-year-old Italian American singer is about to step onto the stage of New York’s Paramount Theatre and give a performance that will change music history. As Frank Sinatra’s career suddenly skyrockets, he struggles with balancing the love of his wife, Nancy, against the demands and temptations of being the most popular singer in America. But when he begins a torrid affair with movie goddess Ava Gardner, his records stop selling and the press turns against him, sending his career into a tailspin. Driven by his devotion to his family, Sinatra employs his peerless artistry and dogged determination to stage the greatest comeback in showbiz history.
Sinatra The Musical is written by the two-time Tony award-winning writer Joe DiPietro (Memphis the Musical, What’s New Pussycat?), directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award-winning Kathleen Marshall (Wonderful Town, Anything Goes) and the set is designed by Olivier Award-winning Peter McKintosh (Crazy for You, Orlando). The orchestra of seventeen musicians will be supervised by Gareth Valentine (My Fair Lady, 42nd Street). They are joined by Jon Morrell (Costume Designer), Tim Mitchell (Lighting Designer), Paul Groothuis (Sound Designer), Akhila Krishnan (Video Designer), Campbell Young (Wigs, Hair and Make-up Designer), Mark Aspinall (Musical Director), Larry Blank & John Clayton (Orchestrators), Ian Eisendrath (Arranger), David Chase (Dance Arrangements), David Grindrod & Will Burton (UK Casting Directors), Jim Carnahan (US Casting Director), Jason Thinger (US Casting (Carnahan)), Stevan Mijailovic (Associate Director), Carol Lee Meadows (Associate Choreographer) and Sam Young (Associate Musical Director).
Joe DiPietro is the winner of two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. His musicals and plays have received thousands of productions across the country and around the world. His new comedy, Babbitt, starring Matthew Broderick, will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse this autumn. His most recent musical, What’s New Pussycat? played to critical and popular acclaim when it premiered at The Rep last year. His other shows include Memphis (2010 Tony Award for Best Musical); Diana (currently streaming on Netflix), Nice Work If You Can Get It (10 Tony Award nominations including Best Book of a Musical for DiPietro); The Toxic Avenger (Outer Critics Circle Award – Best Off-Broadway Musical); I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (longest-running musical revue in Off-Broadway history); as well as the much-produced comedies Clever Little Lies and Over the River and Through the Woods, amongst others.
Kathleen Marshall is a nine-time Tony Award nominee, winning three times for Best Choreography for the Broadway revivals of Wonderful Town, The Pajama Game and Anything Goes. She recently received an Olivier Award for her choreography of the West End production of Anything Goes. She has worked on more than twenty Broadway shows and she is the first woman who has directed a play, directed a musical and choreographed a musical on Broadway. Off-Broadway and regional credits include the New York Shakespeare Festival, Second Stage, Transport Group, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Old Globe, Long Wharf, Paper Mill,Hollywood Bowl, Boston Pops, Signature Theatre and St. Louis MUNY. Kathleen served as the Artistic Director for City Center Encores! for four seasons, during which time Encores! received a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre. Her film and television credits include My Week with Marilyn (choreographer), Once Upon a Mattress, The Music Man (choreographer) and 2 Broke Girls. She has received three Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, an Emmy nomination, the Astaire Award, the George Abbott Award, the Smith College Medal (her alma mater), the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts and she has been named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Kathleen previously worked with Matt Doyle on A Jerome Robbins Centennial Concert in New York.
Sinatra The Musical is presented by Birmingham Rep in association with Michele Anthony, Bruce Resnikoff and Scott Landis for Universal Music Group Theatrical and Tina Sinatra and Charles Pignone on behalf of Frank Sinatra Enterprises.
Sinatra The Musical is the first of a series of new projects and initiatives developed by Frank Sinatra Enterprises in partnership with Universal Music Group that will help introduce new audiences and fans to the timeless singer’s rich catalogue and superstar legacy.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Saturday 23 September – Saturday 28 October 2023
6 Centenary Square
Tickets: from £15
Box Office: 0121 236 4455
Sinatra The Musical:
Frank Sinatra Socials:
Frank Sinatra’s Essential Playlists:
FRANK SINATRA ENTERPRISES (FSE) is a joint venture between the Sinatra family and Warner Music Group. FSE owns Frank Sinatra’s recordings from the Reprise era as well as a treasure trove of films, television specials and unreleased footage, photographs and audio recordings, which collectively represent one of the foremost bodies of artistic work of the modern era. FSE also owns and manages Frank Sinatra’s name and likeness rights and represents the artist’s rights to Columbia and Capitol catalogues. (www.sinatra.com).
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP At Universal Music Group, we exist to shape culture through the power of artistry. UMG is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audio-visual content. Featuring the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms, and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. For more information, visit www.universalmusic.com.
BIRMINGHAM REP is the oldest building-based theatre company in the UK, and the forerunner of both the RSC and the National Theatre. The Rep has an unparalleled pioneering history and is the only producing theatre in the UK’s Second City. It has been at the forefront of theatre in the UK for over 100 years.
The Rep’s mission is to create artistically ambitious popular theatre – world class, for everyone. The commissioning and production of new work lies at the core of The Rep’s programme and over the last 15 years, with the company has produced more than 130 new plays.
As well as presenting over 60 productions on its three stages every year, the theatre tours its productions nationally and internationally.
The Rep’s acclaimed learning and outreach programme is one of the largest and most diverse of any arts organisation in the country. The Rep has nurtured new talent throughout its history – from Laurence Olivier and Peter Brook to its modern day youth theatre, and the ground-breaking Rep Foundry theatre-makers programme, it has offered opportunity and training for thousands of early career writers, directors, and artists.
Many of The Rep’s productions go on to have lives beyond Birmingham. Recent tours and transfers include The Play What I Wrote, Animal Farm, East is East, The Lovely Bones, Brief Encounter, Nativity! The Musical, The Government Inspector, Of Mice and Men, Anita and Me, Penguins and The King’s Speech. The theatre’s long-running production of The Snowman celebrated its 28th anniversary as well as its 25th consecutive season at London’s Peacock Theatre this Christmas, and it’s co-production of Spitting Image The Musical is currently running at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End.