EAST HADDAM, CT, AUGUST 31, 2021: Goodspeed Musicals is excited to announce the cast of A Grand Night for Singing: A Celebration of Rodgers & Hammerstein – marking the thrilling return of live musicals to the Opera House stage. To celebrate the occasion, Goodspeed will hold its twentieth annual Gala on the first night of this rousing revue. The buoyant new production will run September 24 through November 28, 2021 at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn.

Goodspeed Artistic Director Donna Lynn Hilton shared, “We could think of no better way to celebrate our 20th Goodspeed Gala than with the first performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing and the re-opening of the Goodspeed Opera House following the pandemic shutdown.  The evening promises to be an emotional celebration.  I hope our beautiful theatre can contain the excitement.”

The cast will feature Jasmine Forsberg (Off-Broadway: Broadway Bounty Hunter), Mauricio Martínez (Broadway: On Your Feet!), Jesse Nager (Broadway: Motown The MusicalMamma Mia, Mary Poppins), Mamie Parris (Broadway: CatsSchool of RockRagtimeThe Drowsy Chaperone; Goodspeed: The Most Happy Fella), and Diane Phelan (Broadway: School of RockThe King and I). The standbys will be Kathryn Boswell (Broadway: AnastasiaGigi) and Kevin Schuering (National Tour: The King and I).

.On welcoming audiences back to the theater to enjoy A Grand Night for Singing, Managing Director David B. Byrd stated “After a very long absence, Goodspeed is back! We couldn’t be more thrilled to see our loyal patrons again and personally, I look forward to taking in my very first performance in the Opera House since beginning my tenure. Please join us for what promises to be a remarkable run.”

Many of the most uplifting and romantic songs in musical theatre history have one thing in common: the incomparable writing team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. A Grand Night For Singing celebrates over 30 hit songs from all their musical treasures like Oklahoma!South Pacific, The Sound of MusicCarousel, The King and ICinderellaand more. You’ll be tapping your toes and humming along in a joyful evening filled with fresh takes on the music you love. It’s “Something Wonderful” for everyone including your “Honey Bun” or your “Wonderful Guy” and the perfect welcome home to Goodspeed!

Directed by Goodspeed audience favorite, Rob Ruggiero (CarouselShow BoatFiddler on the Roof) with choreography by Broadway’s Lainie Sakakura and designed by Scenic designer Brian Prather (Off-Broadway: Daniels’s HusbandBecoming Dr. RuthFreud’s Last SessionThe Burnt Part Boys), Costume designer Alejo Vietti (Broadway: Holiday InnAllegianceBeautiful: The Carol King Musical) Lighting designer Alan C. Edwards (Off-Broadway: Harry ClarkeKill Move Paradise, Anna Deavere Smith’s Fires in the Mirror) with Sound design by Goodspeed’s Jay HiltonA Grand Night for Singing will be a magical evening of theatre that’s sure to have audiences on their feet and applauding for more!

Featuring artful arrangements and clever interpretations, A Grand Night for Singing is a lively revue that seems tailor-made for Goodspeed. With Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and conceived by Walter Bobbie (the Broadway director of Chicago and Footloose,) the tune-filled treat features musical arrangements by Fred Wells and orchestrations by Michael Gibson and Jonathan Tunick. Music Direction will be by Resident Music Director Adam Souza.

Throughout the pandemic, the safety of our staff, performers and audience has been our top priority. Focusing on the goal of keeping everyone who enters The Goodspeed safe, a complete list of safety policies has been established a for indoor performances at our theater. These policies will remain in effect until at least the end of 2021. We will regularly review the current situation and any updated guidance from the CDC and the State of Connecticut to determine if changes to the safety policies are necessary. All changes to the safety policies will be communicated on the Goodspeed Musicals website and in emails sent to ticket holders.

Patrons must be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine in order to be permitted to attend events at The Goodspeed.  Proof of vaccination will be required at the time of entry. Exemptions will be addressed in advance on a case-by-case basis. Patrons with an approved exemption must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance or negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time. Entry will be denied to patrons who do not provide the documentation as required.  Because they are not able to get vaccinated, children under 12 may not attend events at The Goodspeed at this time

Masks are required at all times while inside The Goodspeed, regardless of vaccination status except when drinking in the bar area or outside areas. Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth and comply with the CDC guidelines for acceptable face coverings. If a patron does not have an acceptable mask, a mask will be provided. Patrons who choose not to wear a mask will be asked to leave the building. 

Capacity will be limited to allow for more space in seating areas. There will be one empty seat between parties and patrons will not be allowed to move into empty seats during the performance. [EDITORS: the complete list of Safety Guidelines can be found in the FACT SHEET included with this release.]

A Grand Night for Singing – a fresh take on the quintessential work of Rodgers & Hammerstein will run September 24 through November 28, 2021. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.).

Tickets start at $29. Tickets will go on sale to the public on September 8 and will be available online at goodspeed.org. or by calling the Box Office (860.873.8668). The Box Office opens at 10am Monday – Friday and 11am on Saturdays and Sundays.

A Grand Night for Singing ispresented in memory of Henry “Buzz” Merritt” and sponsored by Community Health Center, Eversource, Falcetti Pianos, Morgan Stanley, RisCassi & Davis P.C., Robinson+Cole, The Shops at Mohegan Sun, Suzio York Hill, Ashlawn Farm Coffee, and WSHU. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of The Shubert Foundation, Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Lucille Lortel Foundation; United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals; the official audio sponsor Sennheiser; and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. The organization is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

A Grand Night for Singing is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals. www.concordtheatricals.com

For show highlights, exclusive photos, special events and more, visit us at goodspeed.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @goodspeedmusiclInstagram and YouTube.

Goodspeed Musicals has achieved international acclaim and is the first theatre in the nation to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in musical theatre. Under the leadership of Donna Lynn Hilton, Artistic Director and David B. Byrd, Managing Director, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the celebration, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed creates powerful, world-class productions of enlightening new and established works to entertain and inspire audiences. From Goodspeed, 21 musicals have gone to Broadway (including Man of La ManchaAnnie and Holiday Inn) and more than 90 new musicals have been launched.  Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals and the Johnny Mercer Writers Grove are distinguished cornerstones of the organization that highlight its commitment to nurture the talents of new and established artists and support the creative process. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals; the official audio sponsor Sennheiser; and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. The organization is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

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