Uzo Aduba
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Uzo Aduba
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Uzo Aduba, Leigh Barrett, and Todd Alan Johnson are set for New Repertory Theatre's New England premiere of Dessa Rose. The musical -- featuring book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, with music by Stephen Flaherty -- will play the Arsenal Center for the Arts, April 22-May 18. Rick Lombardo will direct, with music direction by Todd C. Gordon.

Based on the novel by Sherley Anne Williams, the show is about a 16-year-old slave girl who befriends a lonely white mother.

Aduba (Dessa Rose) starred on Broadway in Coram Boy and will be featured in the upcoming Broadway revival of Godspell. Barrett (Ruth) has performed extensively with New Rep, including productions of The Wild Party, Into the Woods, and Ragtime. Johnson (Adam Nehemiah) received IRNE Awards for his performances in New Rep's Into the Woods and True West.

The cast will also feature Edward M. Barker, De'Lon Grant, Joshua W. Heggie, Dee Crawford, Dawn C. Tucker, A'lisa D. Miles, Peter A. Carey, Michael Kreutz, and Kami Rushell Smith. The design team will include Peter Colao (set), Franklin Meissner, Jr. (lighting), Frances Nelson McSherry (costumes), and Jamie Whoolery (sound).

Following Dessa Rose, Tony Award winner Ken Howard will star in the New Repertory Theatre's world premiere production of Dick Flavin's bioplay According to Tip at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, June 22-July 13. The production will be directed by Rick Lombardo.

According to Tip traces the career of Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, former Speaker of the House, and his take on the Red Scare, Watergate, and Vietnam.

Howard won the Tony for Child's Play; his other Broadway credits include Promises, Promises, 1776, Seesaw and Rumors. He received an Emmy Award for The Body Human: Facts for Boys, and his numerous other television credits include The West Wing, Adam's Rib and Crossing Jordan. He also recreated his role as Thomas Jefferson for the film version of 1776.

The creative team will include Janie E. Howland (set design), Frances Nelson McSherry (costume design), and Franklin Meissner, Jr. (lighting design).

For more information call 617-923-8487 or visit newrep.org.