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Captains Courageous, The Musical

Manhattan Theatre Club will present the New York premiere of Captains Courageous, The Musical, with music by Frederick Freyer, book and lyrics by Patrick Cook, and direction by Lynne Meadow. Performances begin January 12, opening February 16, at MTC's Stage I at City Center, 131 West 55th St. The 16-member cast features Treat Williams and Brandon Espinoza. The remainder of the cast will be announced shortly.

Based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling and the motion picture "Captains Courageous," Captains Courageous, The Musical is the classic tale of a young boy on the high seas. Harvey Cheyne (Espinoza), the spoiled son of a wealthy industrialist, falls overboard while cruising on his father's luxury liner. Taken for dead, he is rescued by Manuel (Williams), a Portuguese fisherman working on a commercial fishing schooner, who takes Harvey under his wing and teaches him the values of friendship, humility and responsibility.

Musical staging for Captains Courageous, The Musical is by Jerry Mitchell. Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, with musical direction by Robert Gustafson. Sets are by Derek McLane, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lights by Brian MacDevitt, and sound by Otts Munderloh.

Patrick Cook and Frederick Freyer have been writing musicals together for over a decade. Their musical Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was commissioned by Ford's Theatre. They are currently developing another musical, 97 Orchard Street. Cook also wrote incidental music for Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It at Equity Library Theatre and worked as a staff arranger at Radio City Music Hall.

No stranger to musical theatre, Treat Williams made his Broadway debut in the original company of Grease. His other musical theatre credits include the Broadway productions of Over Here and Pirates of Penzance. Williams achieved stardom when director Milos Forman cast him in the movie adaptation of the Broadway hit Hair. He has since gone on to star in such films as Prince of City, The Devil's Own, Steven Spielberg's 1941, Once Upon a Time in America, and Mulholland Falls. Television audiences saw him in Dempsey and as Stanley Kowalski opposite Ann-Margret in the ABC production of A Streetcar Named Desire. He also appeared as Hollywood executive Michael Ovitz in HBO's The Late Shift.

Brandon Espinoza has appeared on Broadway in Big, Les Miserables, and The Will Rogers Follies. Currently a student at the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, Brandon is a familiar face on television commercials and has appeared on Saturday Night Live, USA Network's In a Minute, and The Making of Big.

Lynne Meadow received a Drama Desk nomination for her direction of Leslie Ayvazian's Nine Armenians. Her other directing credits for MTC include Donald Margulies' The Loman Family Picnic, the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's A Small Family Business (Broadway), Absent Friends, Woman in Mind (Drama Desk nomination), Lee Blessing's Eleemosynary, Sally and Marsha by Sybille Pearson, The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs by David Edgar, and Ashes by David Rudnik.

Jerry Mitchell, best known for conceiving and staging eight versions of Broadway Bares, counts among his choreographic credits the hit Broadway revival of Grease, the Off-Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the recent revival of Follies, and the national tour of Jekyll & Hyde. His choreography will also be seen in the upcoming Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Performances of Captains Courageous, The Musical begin January 12, opening Feb. 16, at MTC's Stage I at City Center, 131 West 55th St. Show times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:30pm, Sundays at 4pm. Tickets are $50 and can be reserved by calling 212/581-1212.

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