Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change, Jelly's Last Jam) has joined the cast of Disney's The Happiest Millionaire, celebrating its 50th anniversary in a benefit concert for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Two performances will be held on December 3 at 7pm and 9:30pm at Joe's Pub.
Pinkins will play Mrs. Cordelia Biddle, the wise and understanding wife of eccentric millionaire Anthony J. Biddle (played by two-time Tony nominee Brad Oscar). The production also welcomes John Charles McLaughlin (the Irish Rep's Crackskull Row) as the Biddle's charming Irish song and dance everyman butler, and Cameron Bartell as Charlie Taylor, suitor to young Cordy Biddle.
Previously announced cast members include Lesley Ann Warren and Joyce Bulifant (reprising their roles from the film), two-time Tony nominee Dana Ivey (The Importance of Being Earnest), Nicholas Barasch (She Loves Me), Luca Padovan (School of Rock), Sam Poon (The King and I), Cherish Myers (Disney's Mary Poppins), Christopher Carothers (son of original screenwriter AJ Carothers), Tyler Fauntleroy, and Jason Pintar.
The show is adapted by Doug Thompson and Alex Beck from the screenplay by AJ Carothers, produced by Happiest Musical LLC, Doug Thompson, and Brice Corder, with direction by Alex Beck, musical staging by Jason Wise, and musical direction by Mark Hartman.
The Happiest Millionaire, premiering in 1967, is the final live action Disney production to be overseen by Walt Disney, himself. The film features a score by Mary Poppins composers Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman and originally starred Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Gladys Cooper, and Geraldine Page. The Happiest Millionaire also welcomed the Hollywood screen debuts of Tommy Steele, John Davidson, and Lesley Ann Warren. Set in 1916 Philadelphia, the film is based on the real lives of eccentric renaissance man, alligator collector, and boxing enthusiast Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, and his daughter Cordy, a fiercely independent fighter who, like all Disney princesses, wants to discover the world on her own terms.
All proceeds will solely benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
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