Stephanie J. Block
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Stephanie J. Block
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Stephanie J. Block, Linda Balgord, Hadley Fraser, and Jeff McCarthy will lead the 40-person cast of The Pirate Queen, a new musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg that will have an eight-week engagement at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre, October 3-November 26. The show is expected to open on Broadway next season.

The Pirate Queen is based on the real-life story of the legendary Grace O'Malley, also known as Grania, who led an extraordinary life as a pirate chieftain, lover, and mother in 16th-century Ireland. It will be directed by Tony Award winner Frank Galati and will feature choreography by Mark Dendy, set design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting design by Kenneth Posner. John Dempsey will also contribute lyrics, and the score will be orchestrated by Julian Kelly.

Boublil and Schönberg previously collaborated on Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, and Martin Guerre. Galati won a Tony Award for his work on The Grapes of Wrath and received a Tony nomination for Ragtime. Dendy most recently choreographed Miracle Brothers; his other credits include Taboo and the Off-Broadway production of The Wild Party.

Block, who will play Grania, played Liza Minnelli in the Broadway production of The Boy From Oz and Elphaba in the national tour of Wicked. Balgord, who will play Queen Elizabeth I, has starred on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles, Passion, and Cats. Fraser, who will play Tiernan, has starred in London in Pacific Overtures and Assassins. McCarthy, who will play Dubhdara, has starred on Broadway in Urinetown, Side Show and Beauty and the Beast.