Hannah Elless, Bryce Pinkham, Claybourne Elder Rehearse Benny & Joon
The new musical will be seen at Paper Mill Playhouse.
The cast of Paper Mill Playhouse's Benny & Joon met the press on March 21. Performances will run April 4-May 5, with an official opening on April 14. Benny & Joon has a book by Kirsten Guenther, music by Nolan Gasser, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. It is based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture written by Barry Berman and Leslie McNeil.
The principal cast includes Claybourne Elder as Benny, Hannah Elless as Joon, Bryce Pinkham as Sam, Conor Ryan as Sam at certain performances, and Tatiana Wechsler as Ruthie, with Colin Hanlon as Mike, Paolo Montalban as Larry, Natalie Toro as Dr. Cortez/Mrs. Smail, Jacob Keith Watson as Waldo/Video Store Owner, and Belinda Allyn. The production is directed by Jack Cummings III, with choreography by Scott Rink and music direction by J. Oconor Navarro.
The pair at the heart of the show are Joon, a young woman dealing with mental illness, and Benny, the big brother who's determined to take care of her. When a charmingly eccentric stranger comes into their lives, he throws their carefully calibrated world off-kilter — maybe for the better.
The production features scenic and costume design by Dane Laffrey, lighting design by R. Lee Kennedy, sound design by Kai Harada, flying by Foy, movement coordinator Lorenzo Pisoni, and orchestrations by Michael Starobin.