Utah Repertory Theater Company Announces Its Second Production,
The Musical i love you because —
Another Utah Premiere, Following The Runaway Hit, Side Show
MURRAY, Utah — Pride and Prejudice + modern-day Manhattan + musical = i love you because.
Utah Repertory Theater Company announces its production of the Utah premiere of the musical i love you because.
“This cast is going to blow off the roof of the theater with talent,” said director Ashley Ramsey. “They are dedicated and hard working. It is always such a spectacular thing when you as a director are able to work with actors that are as passionate about the project as you are. That’s when theater magic is really able to happen.”
Artistic director Johnny Hebda explained the connection between the off-Broadway musical and Jane Austen’s novel:
“With i love you because, composer Joshua Salzman and lyricist Ryan Cunningham playfully use Pride and Prejudice as basis for their story. They humorous twist is added by reversing the genders and roles. Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet becomes Austin Bennet. And Mr. Darcy, whose full name is Fitzwilliam Darcy, is Marcy Fitzwilliams. The songwriting team has written a score that the New York Times wrote is ‘filled with wit and zest,’ and called the show ‘terrific, refreshing fun.’”
He added, “While audiences don’t need to know Pride and Prejudice to enjoy i love you because, the connection adds a comic level to the musical. And Austenites will be delighted.”
In the Utah Rep production, the lead role of Marcy Fitzwilliams will be played by popular local actress Madeline Weinberger, who just completing performing in Pygmalion Theatre Company’s premiere of Cheat, originating the part of Edie. Weinberger was last seen as Fortune Teller in the Utah premiere of Side Show, Utah Rep’s inaugural production. She has also appeared in the lead roles of Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: the Musical and as Kay Banks Father of the Bride at the Hale Center Theatre. Her favorite roles include Kitty Clive in Joyful Noise, Sabine in The Three Musketeers, and Nora in Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Playing opposite Weinberger is Billy Hagee in the role of Austin Bennet. Some of his favorite roles include Billy Crocker in Anything Goes, Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Seton Cram in Holiday, Phillips in Casey at the Bat: the Musical and Yertle the Turtle in Seussical: the Musical.
Brandon Roach (Jeff Bennet) was most recently seen as Don Atilio in The Phantom of the Opera and as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors. The credits of Jordan Hall (Diana Bingley) include Mary in Jekyll & Hyde, Corny Collins Dancer in the Utah premiere of Hairspray and Princess “Fred” Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress.
Cast in the ensemble is Amanda Crawley. She was last seen in Utah Rep’s production of Side Show and her previous roles include Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors, Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Marty in Grease, as well as Cecily Cardew in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The other i love you because ensemble members are:
Andrew Foree: LeFevre in The Phantom of the Opera, Bellomy in The Fantasticks, and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
Twyla Spittle: Tobias in Sweeney Todd, Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray and Bonnie Lateur in Anything Goes.
Johnny Wilson: Ryan in High School Musical, Matt in The Fantasticks and Ugly in Honk!
“The thing that is most exciting about i love you because is that it is the first time it has ever been done here,” Ramsey said. “It is such a wonderful story that everyone is going to be able to relate to. It’s funny and uplifting. It’s theater to be enjoyed.”
The director recommended the musical “because it is going to a fabulous night out. While it is fun show, it also has a wonderful message of learning to really truly love people. None of us are perfect, which these characters so charmingly show. But because of those imperfections, we can learn to love deeper than we thought possible.”
What is the meaning of the title i love you because?
The authors have explained that it’s unavoidable for us to see faults and differences in others and it’s easy to say “I love you anyway.” But it’s hard and all the more rewarding to say, “I love you because.”
i love you because plays March 22-5 at Utah Rep’s resident theater, the Historic Murray Theate
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website of Utah Repertory Theater Company at www.utahrep.org.
Hi-res media photos can be downloaded at utahrep.org/2013-season/i-love-you-because/photos-ilyb/.
To schedule interviews with “i love you because” Director Ashley Ramsey and/or cast members, please contact Blair Howell, Utah Rep’s Marketing Director, at 801-592-9362 or BlairHowell@msn.com.
Reviewers are invited to the Saturday, March 23, 2 p.m. performance, which will include a talkback with the “i love you because” actors, director, and dramaturgs.