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Donna McKechnie Joins Cast of Half Time at Paper Mill Playhouse

Georgia Engel, Lillias White, and more star in the East Coast premiere of the new musical, directed by Jerry Mitchell.

Donna McKechnie will join the cast of Half Time at Paper Mill Playhouse.
(© David Gordon)

Paper Mill Playhouse has announced the full cast and creative for the East Coast premiere of Half Time. The new musical — which features book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean — will run May 31-July 1, with opening night set for June 12.

In addition to the previously announced Georgia Engel and Lillias White, the cast will include Donna McKechnie, André De Shields, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Nancy Ticotin, Madeleine Doherty, Tracy Jai Edwards, Mary Claire King, Lenora Nemetz, Kay Walbye, Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner, and Gayle Turner.

Half Time will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) and cochoreographed by Nick Kenkel, with music direction by Charlie Alterman. The rest of the creative team will include David Rockwell (scenic design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (costume design), Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (lighting design), Randy Hansen (sound design), Jason Lee Courson (projection design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (hair and wig design), and Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (orchestrations).

Based on a true story, the musical revolves around 10 dancers who audition to dance at the halftime show for a major NBA team. They all love to dance, they all have something to prove, and they are all over 60. It's only after making the cut that they find out they will be dancing in a style that is completely new to all of them. Instead of tap, salsa, or swing, they will have to dance hip-hop. Upon its 2015 premiere in Chicago, the musical's original title was Gotta Dance.