Acclaimed actress Anna Aimee White takes on the role of Ginger Rogers in Backwards In High Heels:The Ginger Musical, the captivating story of the star's journey from her hometown to Hollywood and from one love affair to another. Conceived and developed by Lynnette Barkley and Christopher McGovern and helmed by up-and-coming New York director Scott Schwartz, Backwards In High Heels: The Ginger Musical is based on original songs and arrangements written by McGovern. This surprising, true-life story is told in one dynamic musical number after another, with energetic choreography by Patti Colombo, costumes by Alejo Vietti and set design by Walt Spangler. McGovern has rearranged cherished standards from Berlin, Gershwin and Kern with new original songs, in sharp executions by music director Tim Robertson's five-piece band. Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical begins in the Bolton Theatre at Cleveland Play House on Friday, January 7 and runs through Sunday, January 30, 2011. Tickets are available at Cleveland Play House box office by calling 216.795.7000 ext 4 or online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com.
The six member cast features Anna Aimee White as Ginger, Heather Lee as Lela, Christianne Tisdale as Ethel Merman/ensemble, Matthew Labanca as Fred Astaire/ensemble, Benjie Randall as Lew Ayres/ensemble, and James Patterson as Jack Culpepper /ensemble, who combined play a total of 29 roles.
"From Scott Schwartz, our director, through our superb designers, musicians and extraordinary cast, this is an artistic team that theatres dream about," states Michael Bloom, artistic director of Cleveland Play House.
Anna Aimee White comes to this production after performing the role of Ginger Rogers in the International City Theatre production of Backwards in High Heels in Long Beach, California, where she and the musical delighted audiences and received rave reviews.
"As Ginger, perky Anna Aimee White is a facile dancer whose voice alternates between wispiness
and a strong belt." -LA Times
"In every respect, White is simply sensational, bringing verve and joie de vivre to the role of Ginger...
catch this show before it taps its way out the door." - Orange County Register
Backwards in High Heels was originally produced by Florida Stage. The development of Backwards in High Heels was partially funded by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Producer-Writer Initiative. This acclaimed new musical broke box office records when it sold out the entire run of its world premiere.
Cleveland Play House is co-producing Backwards in High Heels with three other regional theatres - Arizona Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre. The production originated with Asolo Rep in May, then moved to Arizona and San Jose before it opens in Cleveland.
Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical is presented with support from Kaiser Permanente; Kulas Foundation; Polcar, Brahler, Heil, Belden Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors; Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and the Ohio Arts Council.
ABOUT THE PLAY AND PLAYWRIGHT
Best known as Fred Astaire's dance partner, Ginger defied her over-protective mother to become one of Hollywood's biggest stars and one of the industry's first women to demand equal pay. Her career began when she won a Charleston contest in her hometown of Forth Worth, Texas, at age 15. Three years later, she made her Broadway debut and quickly became a star. Ginger was discovered by Hollywood, where her fame culminated in winning an Oscar® for her role in Kitty Foyle. Along the way, she had tempestuous relationships with producers, co-stars and many husbands - but none rivaled the importance of her relationship with her mother.