Pasadena Playhouse announces cast of Head Over Heels

Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California, has announced initial casting for Head Over Heels, with music of The Go-Go's, which kicks off the Playhouse's 2021-2022 season.

The cast has plenty of queer appeal with Alaska 5000 (RuPaul's Drag Race), Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black), Yurel Echezarreta (Steven Spielberg's West Side Story), Tiffany Mann (Be More Chill), George Salazar (Little Shop of Horrors), Emily Skeggs (Fun Home), and Shanice Williams (“Dorothy" in NBC's The Wiz Live!).

The historic Pasadena Playhouse will be fully transformed for the production creating an experience with both traditional reserved theater seats and a general admission dance floor. Performances are scheduled from November 9 through December 12. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $30, at pasadenaplayhouse.org.

Cast Overview:

  • Alaska 5000 (Queen Gynecia) is the winner of the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars and runner-up on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race.
  • Lea DeLaria (King Basilius) has had a multi-faceted career as a comedian, actress, and jazz musician, spanning decades, including her three-time SAG Award-winning role as “Carrie 'Big Boo' Black" in Orange is the New Black.
  • Yurel Echezarreta (The Player) was in the Broadway production of Head Over Heels, as well as Moulin Rouge!, Aladdin, Matilda, and La Cage aux Folles, and Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.
  • Tiffany Mann (Pamela) appeared on Broadway in Be More Chill and is a Lucille Lortel Award winner for Jerry Springer the Opera.
  • George Salazar (Musidorus) was last seen as “Seymour Krelborn" at Pasadena Playhouse in Little Shop of Horrors and starred as “Michael" in the Broadway production of Be More Chill (Lucille Lortel winner and Drama Desk Nominee for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical).
  • Emily Skeggs (Mopsa) was nominated for both a Tony and Grammy Award for her work in the Broadway award-winning production of Fun Home.
  • Shanice Williams (Philoclea) is best known for her portrayal of “Dorothy" on NBC's The Wiz Live!

The remaining role of “The Oracle" will round out the cast of eight and will be
announced at a later date.

In addition, Pasadena Playhouse announces the full creative team. The production is being directed, choreographed, and conceived by Jenny Koons and Sam Pinkleton and features music direction by Kris Kukul, scenic design by David Meyer; costume design by Hahnji Jang; lighting design by Stacey Derosier; sound design by Danny Erdberg and Ursula Kwong Brown; casting by Ryan Tymensky of The Telsey Office, and stage management by Sara Sahin.

Head Over Heels, with songs by The Go-Go's, is based on The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney, conceived by and features an original book by Jeff Whitty, and adapted by James Magruder.

About the Show and Design Concept

Head Over Heels is a musical comedy, set to the music of the iconic LA-based female rock band The Go-Go's, that follows a royal family in search of a purpose, lovers in search of each other, and a whole kingdom in search of a beat. Featuring the hit songs Our Lips Are Sealed, Vacation, Belinda Carlisle's Heaven is a Place on Earth, and Mad About You, among others, the audience will be whisked away through a world of exuberance and wit from the first notes of We Got the Beat to the final celebratory curtain call.

Head Over Heels has been reimagined for the Playhouse by Director/Choreographer Jenny Koons and Director/Choreographer Sam Pinkleton in an all new experiential production. Originally produced for a traditional proscenium stage on Broadway in 2018, the Playhouse's 90-minute, intermission-free production puts the audience in the middle of a non-stop, dance-filled joyride through magic, merriment, and mischief. With the actors performing all over the converted theater, every seat, or spot on the dance floor, will have a unique vantage point and an experience to remember. Patrons will be required to be fully vaccinated and wear masks when entering the theater.

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