The musical has a book, music, and lyrics by Jill Santoriello. Directed by Guy Stroman, the August 19 and 20 presentations will feature a 16-piece orchestra and a cast of 23 Broadway performers headed by Grammy Award winner Gary Morris. Musical direction is by Wendy Bobbitt Cavett; orchestrations are by Edward B. Kessel and Bob Krogstad.
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities begins when Dr. Manette is released from the Bastille after 17 years; his daughter, Lucie, is determined to rescue him from the brink of madness. Family secrets and political intrigue combine to draw Lucie and her family back to Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror. The musical finds an unlikely hero in the drunken cynic Sydney Carton, who is inspired by love to make an extraordinary sacrifice.
A Tale of Two Cities was chosen as a finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Center Musical Theatre Workshop and was subsequently presented in Indianapolis in a concert version with symphony orchestra and a 50-voice choir, narrated by Richard Kiley. The musical has received grants from the states of New Jersey and Florida and been chosen as a finalist in the International Musical Theater Competition in Los Angeles. Additionally, Jill Santoriello has won several songwriting honors for the musical's central ballad, "If Dreams Came True."
A concept recording of the musical was released in 2002 and is available throughout the U.S. and Europe. The CD features 56 vocalists including Bryce Dallas Howard, Paul Castree, J. Mark McVey, Christiane Noll, Peter Samuel, Alex Santoriello, Tim Shew, Natalie Toro, and Nick Wyman, as well as musicians from the Indianapolis Symphony and New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information on A Tale of Two Cities, visit the official website.