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Florida Rep closes season with zany musical comedy

April 29, 2010
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Florida Repertory Theatre has announced the final offering of its High Flying 12th Season, a zany musical comedy of epic proportions, The Big Bang.

Opening May 7 with discounted previews May 4, 5 and 6, The Big Bang is an hysterical romp that follows two wannabe producers as they retell the history of mankind as the most lavish and expensive Broadway musical ever written.

Written by Boyd Graham and Jed Feuer, The Big Bang is a deliriously funny musical that the New York Daily News called "Inspired Nonsense!" It unfolds in the elegant Park Avenue apartment of Dr. Sid and Sylvia Lipbalm, a proctologist and his wife, as Jed and Boyd pitch a musical they have written, The Big Bang, to a houseful of prospective investors. With a budget of $83.5 million and a cast 318, it is the most expensive and most lavish musical ever conceived, and over the course of the evening, Jed & Boyd pull out all the stops as Florida Rep audiences sit in as the potential backers.

The dynamic duo hits all the historical highlights, from building the pyramids to Napoleon's France and the Antebellum South. Jed and Boyd give investors a taste of the impending extravaganza and play all the parts along the way - from Adam and Eve to Ceaser and his Soothsayer, Mrs. Ghandi, Attila the Hun, Columbus and Isabella, Pocahontas and Minihaha, Tokyo Rose and Shanghai Lil, Eva Braun and more - keeping audiences in stitches as they turn the Lipbalm apartment - and history - upside-down, promoers say.

The production stars Jason Parrish and Gary Marachek as Jed and Boyd. Parrish is now in his fifth season with Florida Rep, serving as associate drector, and was seen most recently in this season's Relatively Speaking and The Santaland Diaries. Out of New York, Marachek is no stranger to The Big Bang, having appeared in the show three times before. A four-time Carbonell Award-winner (the South Florida Tony), Marachek has appeared extensively around the country and in the state of Florida, chiefly with Actor's Playhouse in Miami.

Joining Parrish and Marachek for the historical mayhem is musical director and onstage pianist, Edward Reichert. A professor with the University of Southern Maine, Reichert has worked extensively with Florida Rep (Company; I Love You, You're Perfect...), in Southwest Florida and spent four years working with the Zonta Club on Sanibel and Captiva.

Florida Rep Producing Artistic Director, Robert Cacioppo (You Can't Take It With You, A Funny ThingForum) directs the production and is joined by choreographer, Amy Marie McCleary. Resident choreographer with the Broadway Palm, McCleary's work at the Rep includes A Funny Thing...Forum (dancer) and Boeing-Boeing (choreography).

Set & lighting designer, Jim Hunter, opened the season with Boeing-Boeing, and returns for The Big Bang. Resident costumer, Roberta Malcolm (You Can't Take It With You, Relatively Speaking), takes on the Herculean of effort recreating the history of mankind through costume (most of them fashioned from Dr. & Mrs. Lipbalm's furnishings). Audrey M. Brown, production stage manager, returns to Florida Rep after recent work on last season's Indian Blood and Alone Together.

The Big Bang by Boyd Graham and Jed Feuer plays at Florida Rep May 7-23, with discounted previews May 4 at 8 p.m., May 5 at 2 p.m. and May 6 at 8 p.m. Performances are Tues. Saturday at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Wednesday, Sunday and selected Saturdays with a special Twilight Performance" at 7 p.m. on May 9.

Single tickets are now on sale through the box office at 239-332-4488 or online at Single tickets are priced at $42, $38 & $20 and $25 & $20 for previews.

Feeling Lucky? Subscribe now to Florida Rep's Lucky Season 13 and save over 40 percent off single tickets. Call or click today.

Florida Repertory Theatre performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson and Hendry with free parking in the Fort Myers River District. Visit Florida Rep online at



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