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Atalanta To Premiere at Powerhouse: New Musical is based on Mario Thomas work

The Powerhouse Theatre and Creative PlayGround, in collaboration with Marlo Thomas, will present the world premiere of Atalanta, an original musical adaptation of a story from Thomas’ classic 1970s “Free To Be You and Me” album and television program.

The musical will have its premiere Saturday, June 4, and run for seven weeks through Sunday, July 17 at the Powerhouse, 3116 Second Street in Santa Monica.

This is the first time Thomas has approved an adaptation of any of the stories from her TV special.

Atalanta is directed by David Mowers and features music by David O and book and lyrics by Karen Hardcastle.

The princess of a small and peaceful kingdom, Atalanta is admired by everyone because she is bright, can build and fix things and take care of herself. As her father, the King, puts it she is “quite a catch” and suitors from surrounding kingdoms line up to marry her. But she has other plans.

Atalanta demonstrates Thomas’s thesis that we are all free to be whoever we want to be.

David O, an L.A. composer and musical director, was musical director of The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, for which he received LA Weekly and LA Drama Critics Circle awards. His new musical, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, has been done in workshops, and he has appeared as “The Professor” in Summersounds at the Hollywood Bowl.

While in college at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Hardcastle developed and directed Camp Shakespeare in conjunction with the Virginia Shakespeare Festival.

In L.A., she has worked at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, directed and taught in a variety of schools, and written several Living History pieces (Steinbeck, Homer, Lewis & Clark) that have been performed in schools throughout Southern California. Her first produced play, My Last Song, was the winner of the Howard Scammon Prize for Drama. She currently teaches at Westland School and is the Co-Artistic Director and writer for Creative PlayGround.

Producer Andrew Barrett-Weiss is Executive Artistic Director of the Powerhouse Theatre. The cast of Atalanta includes Guerin Barry, Peter Musante, Lori Scarlett, Deb Snyder, Tem Beyer, and Elizabeth Tobias as Atalanta.

Lighting design is by Don Luce (Liberty!, Dreamplay). Sound designer is Jason Duplissea (The Birthday of the Infanta, Dreamplay) and costumes have been designed by Cynthia Herteg (Menopause the Musical).

Atlanta will preview on Thursday and Friday, June 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and open on Saturday, June 4 at 2 and again at 8 p.m.Tickets are $20 for all performances. Previews are $15. For tickets, please call the Powerhouse Theatre at (310) 396-3680 or visit www.powerhousetheatre.com.

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