© Photo by Iwan Baan
Dallas Theater Center announced today complete details for the world premiere musical, Bella: An American Tall Tale with book, lyrics and music by Kirsten Childs (FLY). Directed by Robert O'Hara, Bella: An American Tall Tale will begin with a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Thursday, Sept. 22 and will run through Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. Press Night will be Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org and by phone at (214) 880-0202. Bella: An American Tall Tale is produced in association with New York's Playwrights Horizons, where it will appear in the spring of 2017. "I'm thrilled to launch this wonderful new musical at Dallas Theater Center and have the work of Kirsten Childs back on our stage," said DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. "Bella: An American Tall Tale is a smart, witty musical filled with the voices of characters whose stories have often been left out of our shared history. Kirsten rights this wrong with generosity, warmth, much hilarity and spell-binding music and lyrics. There is no one more suited to lead this production than the wildly inventive, highly theatrical and breathtakingly funny director, Robert O'Hara."
The world premiere musical comedy is set in the Wild West with an unforgettable, soulful score. Bella: An American Tall Tale tells the story of Isabella "Bella" Patterson, a young black woman in late 19th Century America who boards a train west to reunite with her Buffalo soldier sweetheart. On her journey, Bella will encounter the most colorful and lively characters ever to roam the Western plains. Bullets and fists will fly, heads and hearts will break, but blessed with a big heart and a voluptuous figure, Bella will breeze through it all.
"I'm so happy to be back in Dallas to bring audiences the larger-than-life tale of Bella," Childs said. "After discovering a part of the American West that never made it into my school history books, I was inspired to write a tall-tale musical about people of color on the Western frontier – rootin' tootin' cowboys, bold soldiers, plucky mail-order-brides and hope-filled settlers – and the wide-eyed itty bitty gal who had an effect on them all. It's a true thrill to watch the show come to life with a crackerjack cast, music, dance and design team, all under the guidance of the extraordinary director Robert O'Hara. I hope you enjoy Bella's true story as much as I enjoyed making it up!"
Starring as Isabella "Bella" Patterson is Ashley D. Kelley accompanied by fellow cast members Josh Davis as Snaggletooth/Bonny Johnny; Yurel Echezarreta as Diego/Conyers; Denise Lee (Stagger Lee, The Wiz, A Christmas Carol) as Grandma; Will Mann as Old Man; Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company member Liz Mikel (Romeo and Juliet, Medea, School for Wives) as Aunt Dinah; Kenita R. Miller as Mamma/Cabbagestalk; Paolo Montalban as Tommie Haw; Clifton Oliver as Aloysius; Gabrielle Reyes (Dreamgirls) as Young Girl; Zak Reynolds as Gabriel and Donald Webber Jr. as Nathaniel.
Bringing the music and movement to life is Choreographer Camille Brown; Music Supervisor/Music Director/Conductor Rona Siddiqui; Orchestrator Daryl Waters; Associate Music Director/Associate Conductor Vonda K. Bowling (Dreamgirls, A Christmas Carol, Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical); Music Contractor Debbie Brooks and Copyist Drew Zaremba.
Recent Tony Award-winning Costume Designer Clint Ramos (Cabaret, The Good Negroe, The Taming of the Shrew) will join Bella: An American Tall Tale as Set Designer to transform the Wyly Theatre to a late 19th Century music hall. Also returning to DTC is Dede Ayite (Stagger Lee) as Costume Designer along with Brian McDonald (The School for Wives, Medea, The Book Club Play) as Sound Designer. Lighting Designer Japhy Weideman; Projection Designer Jeff Sugg (Fortress of Solitude); Projection Programmer Erin Teachman; and Wig Designers Dave Bova (Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical) and J. Jared Janas (Dreamgirls, Les Misérables) will complete the design team.
DTC's Come Early sponsored by Wells Fargo will take place one hour before every performance and DTC's Stay Late will take place after each performance.
See additional information below or visit: