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Georgia Engel, André De Shields, and More Preview Half Time

Jerry Mitchell directs and choreographs this new musical at Paper Mill Playhouse.

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The company of Paper Mill Playhouse's Half Time met the press at their rehearsal studio on May 17. 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.

Haven Burton, Georgia Engel, and the cast of Half Time in rehearsal.
(© David Gordon)

The cast is made up of Georgia Engel, Lillias White, 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.

André De Shields leads a production number from Half Time.
(© David Gordon)

Half Time is 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 includes 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).

Mary Claire King, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, and the company of Half Time.
(© David Gordon)

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.

The cast and creative team of Half Time.
(© David Gordon)
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