It Happened in Key West, a major new romantic comedy musical by award-winning Broadway composer Jill Santoriello (A Tale of Two Cities) novelist Jason Huza and Jeremiah James, a member of international recording group Teatro, is to get its world premiere at London’s Charing Cross Theatre in a strictly limited seven-week season from Thursday 4 July – Saturday 22 September. Press night is Tuesday 10 July at 7.30pm.
It Happened in Key West is inspired by shocking true events that rocked the tiny island of Key West in the 1930s. After decades of searching for his dream girl, eccentric scientist Carl finally finds Elena, only to lose the young beauty to the fatal disease of tuberculosis. But for Carl, the eternal optimist, death is only the beginning. He steals Elena’s body from the graveyard and takes her home, embarking on the most ambitious “fixer upper” project in history as he tries to bring his beloved back to life…
Funny, shocking and deeply moving, this new American musical will make you re-examine what you believe about the nature of love, loyalty and commitment (either to a person or an asylum!).
It Happened in Key West, with Book, Music and Lyrics By Jill Santoriello, Book and Additional Lyrics by Jason Huza, Book and Original Concept by Jeremiah James, will be directed and choreographed by Marc Robin, who has staged almost 400 productions across the US, earning multiple awards and nominations.
Rest of the creative team: Production Designer Jamie Roderick (Bandstand, A Time To Kill). Sound Designer Andrew Johnson (The Woman in White, The Play That Goes Wrong, West End and Broadway). Costume Designer Lisa Zinni (Rent, School of Rock, Cats). Musical Director Andrew Hopkins. Orchestrations by Robert Felstein (The Fantasticks). UK casting Neil Rutherford. Producers: Jeremiah James, Rashad V. Chambers, Marylou Rothfuss (Dear Evan Hansen, Spring Awakening) and Art Lab LLC. UK General Management: Guy Kitchenn and David Adkin Ltd.
Cast to be announced.
JILL SANTORIELLO – Music/Lyrics/Book
Jill Santoriello is the award-winning author of the Broadway musical A Tale of Two Cities, which received a 2008 Outer Critics Circle nomination for Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Best Actor. A Tale of Two Cities also earned 3 Drama Desk Nominations and a Drama League nomination. Prior to Broadway, the world premiere production enjoyed a sold-out run at Florida’s historic Asolo Repertory Theatre, winning numerous awards including Best Musical of the season. Jill adapted and co-produced the PBS television special DVD A Tale of Two Cities – in Concert. The concert starred Michael York and Olivier and BAFTA award winner Rosemary Leach and was filmed in the UK at the Theatre Royal, Brighton. Jill is one of only two women in history to write book, music and lyrics for a Broadway musical. Most recently Jill recently collaborated with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning writer John Patrick Shanley to write a song, Riding A White Horse, for Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project. Jill is a self-taught musician who began composing music in her early teens – an outgrowth of having played piano by ear from the age of six. She wrote the first notes of music for A Tale of Two Cities when she was 15 – more than 25 years before the world premiere – and pursued the dream of production while working full-time for 13 years in original TV programming at Showtime Networks. www.jillsantoriello.com.
JEREMIAH JAMES – Book/Original Concept/Lead Producer
As a Producer, Jeremiah James has developed and produced various theatrical productions, one-person shows, and staged readings in New York, LA and as far afield as Africa. His first venture into producing was the international recording group Teatro (of which he is a member), their first full two-hour show, Jeremiah not only produced but was also the Director and Choreographer. As a writer, Jeremiah has projects in various mediums. He recently finished his first book, Only Me… Thanks a Lot with his writing partner Dr. Stefanie Macaluso, which also has a web-series attached to it currently in development. He is working on an as-yet-untitled books series with writing partner Autumn Karen slated for release in 2018. Along with co-writer and collaborator Devon Cannon he has two new musicals currently in development. A TV show, The Theatre Re-Invention Project, conceived by Jeremiah and written by himself and Karen Moline, is in its final stages of development for network television. After being invited to attend the Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Conference, Jeremiah ventured into the world of writing and directing one-person shows which include Jeremiah James’s My Inner Superman, Tupelo and Choose Love, as well as Forest Van-Dyke’s Breaking Free and Courtney Warford’s Blurred Lines, as well as being a writing consultant on several others.
JASON HUZA Book/Additional Lyrics
Writing projects include the award-winning web-series, King of the List. Staged readings of his play, Wrapped in Pink, featuring Josh Walden and Ellen Z. Wright (Cagney) and Javier Munoz (Hamilton). Together with Josh Walden, he wrote both the short film, I Love You, Anna – featured in the New York Independent Film Festival – and a feature-length, Discovering Henry, now in post-production, Co-writing the pilot Hempanadas with Ron Barba (Truffles), and Victor Colicchio (Summer of Sam). His play, Dante’s Omission, was a 2017 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrighting Conference finalist. Delirium Tremens, his first novel with audio book narrated by recording artist Jeremiah James.
His second novel, Emma and Adam published in 2017 with an audio version currently in production by Beacon Audio.
MARC ROBIN – Director
Marc has been associated with Fulton Opera House, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, since 2001. He started at the Fulton as the Director/Choreographer of Evita and has since staged over 40 productions. Some personal favourites include Rags, Sweeney Todd, August Osage County, Ghost, Treasure Island and The Wizard of Oz. He served as Artistic Director for 7 years and, most recently, has been given the honour to move in to a new role as Executive Artistic Producer. As a freelance Director he has worked all over the United States, staging close to 400 productions and earning multiple awards and nominations.
JAMIE RODERICK – Production Designer
Jamie is the Resident Lighting Designer for Broken Box Mime Theatre. He has lit international recording artists Teatro at various venues around the USA. Off-Broadway he lit Ken Davenport’s That Bachelorette Show. For TriArts at the Sharon Playhouse, he lit Doubt, 13, Next Thing You Know, Tuesdays With Morrie, Spring Awakening, and Nine Wives. He lit The Bikinis! – A New Musical Beach Party at many regional theatres around the US. Other select credits from various theatres include Disney’s On The Record and The Little Mermaid, Bare: A Pop Opera, Dogfight, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Girlfriend From Hell. Jamie’s Broadway credits include Assistant Lighting Designer of A Time to Kill and Assistant To The Lighting Designer for Disney’s Aladdin, The Glass Menagerie, Motown: The Musical and Bring it On: The Musical.
ROBERT FELSTEIN – Orchestrator
A professional in the musical theater industry for over 20 years, Robert Felstein has established himself as a pianist, orchestrator, and conductor. He has music directed over 50 professional productions at theatres around the USA conducted concerts with many of the leading singers of musical theatre, played in Broadway pits, and for the past seven years has been musical director of the world’s longest-running musical, The Fantasticks.
LISA ZINNI – Costume Designer
BROADWAY: Associate Costume Designer at The Play That Goes Wrong, Cats and School of Rock the Musical. REGIONAL: Theatre Under The Stars, Orlando Shakes, PA SHAKESPEARE, Mount Saint Joseph Academy.
ANDREW JOHNSON – Sound Designer
His many theatre credits include: Titanic (UK tour), The Play That Goes Wrong (West End & Lyceum, Broadway); The Toxic Avenger (Edinburgh & Arts Theatre, West End); Harold and Maude, The Woman In White, The Knowledge, Death Takes A Holiday (all Charing Cross Theatre);Tommy (UK Tour – Ramps On The Moon Project); Promises Promises, Allegro, The Toxic Avenger, Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel, Dogfight, The A- Z Of Mrs P, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel, Company (all Southwark Playhouse). Andrew is a Project Manager and Sound Designer for Creative Technology. www.ctlondon.com
Jeremiah James, Rashad V. Chambers,
Marylou Rothfuss and Art Lab LLC
It Happened in Key West
a new musical comedy
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jill Santoriello
Book and Additional Lyrics by Jason Huza
Book and Original Concept by Jeremiah James
Charing Cross Theatre
London, WC2N 6NL