Max Von Essen
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Max Von Essen
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Max Von Essen, Heather Spore, and Maureen Silliman will star in the Two River Theater Company production of the sung-through musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which will open the inaugural season of TRTC's new state-of-the-art performance facility in Red Bank. The show will run September 22-October 9 and will be directed by Jonathan Fox .

This will be the first authorized, fully-staged version of the musical in the U.S. since it premiered Off-Broadway in 1979. Adapted by Tony Award winner Sheldon Harnick from the 1964 award-winning French film of the same title, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg focuses on the star-crossed romance between Genevieve, a shop girl, and Guy, an auto mechanic, whose love is put to the test when he is drafted into military service. The show's score is by the Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand, and the TRTC production will feature new lyrics for the hit song "(If It Takes Forever) I Will Wait for You."

Von Essen (Guy) has been seen on Broadway in Dance of the Vampires and Jesus Christ Superstar; earlier this season, he co-starred in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of The Baker's Wife. Spore (Genevieve) numbers New York productions of The Fantasticks and Twelfth Night among her credits. Silliman, who will play Genevieve's mother, appeared in the original Off-Broadway production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and has been seen on Broadway in Shenandoah, I Remember Mama, and Is There Life After High School?

The Umbrellas cast also includes Ken Krugman, Patti Perkins, Robyn Payne, Jonathan Kaplan, Steven Stein Grainger, Brett Rigby, and Sara Delaney. The design team consists of Neil Prince (sets), Moira Shaughnessy (costumes), Aaron Black (lighting), and Zach Williamson (sound).