Michael Hayden
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Michael Hayden
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Michael Hayden, Paul Schoeffler, and Elena Shaddow will respectively play Paul, Marco the Magnificent, and Lilli in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of the 1961 musical Carnival, March 8-April 19. Directed by Erica Schmidt and choreographed by Peter Pucci, the show will open officially on March 12.

Carnival will also feature Eric Michael Gillett as Jacquot and Nick Wyman as Schlagel; further casting will be announced shortly. The show's creative team includes Christopher Barreca (set design), Michelle R. Phillips (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Randy Hansen (sound design), Jason Hayes (hair, wigs & make-up design), Jesse Mooney Bullock (puppet design), Frank Maugeri (puppet coach), Chic Silber (circus efects), Peter Samelson (magic design), and Tom Helm (music direction).

Based on the 1953 film Lili, the musical has a book by Michael Stewart and a score by Bob Merrill. It tells the story of a lonely orphan who wishes to join the glamorous world of the carnival. She joins a puppet act and soon finds that, as the show's hit song goes, "love makes the world go 'round." The original Broadway production of Carnival ran for more than 700 performances and received seven Tony Award nominations, winning two awards (including one for star Anna Maria Alberghetti). In 2002, the show was presented as part of the City Center Encores! series, with Anne Hathaway, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Douglas Sills, and Debbie Gravitte in the leads.

Hayden received a Tony nomination for Judgment at Nuremberg and also starred on Broadway in Henry IV, Enchanted April, and Carousel. Schoeffler's Broadway credits include revivals of Peter Pan, Nine, and Sweet Charity. Shaddow, now in the ensemble of The Woman in White, was previously seen on Broadway in the recent productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Nine.