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Stunning New Musical, TINYARD HILL, to open at the Playhouse April 16

Stunning New Musical, TINYARD HILL, to open at the Playhouse April 16

Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 8:02 pm

Tinyard Hill, GA in 1964, is too far away from the world to pickup a good radio signal, but close enough for a dangerous world to affect it as Vietnam heats up in the wake of JFK’s death. Young blacksmith David Kingsley is just 18, and helps his dad Russell continue the 200-year old family smithy’s tradition. Greg Pendzick, former star of THE MIRACLE in Pigeon Forge where he originated the role of Judas, joins Nashville’s Billboard top-ten songwriter (and off-Broadway star of SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN) Bobby Taylor as rural American blacksmiths in the award-winning new musical TINYARD HILL, by Nashville’s Mark Allen and Georgian Tommy Newman.

The authors have won the Frederick Loewe award, their show played for important festivals in New York, and they are preparing a premiere of another musical, BAND GEEKS, for Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut. Allen received the Jonathan Larson Prize for his music, including his work on TINYARD HILL.

TINYARD HILL was a hit at National Alliance for Musical Theater’s New York Festival of staged readings, and then premiered by California’s THEATERWORKS in ’09, after a workshop production in Birmingham. Now at Cumberland County Playhouse it plays a full three-month rep run April 16-July 11 in a Southern Professional Premiere production, and the second full-run professional production nationally.

Playhouse producer and Yale School of Drama grad Jim Crabtree directs, with Curt Phillips as scenic designer. The pair last collaborated on the World Nonprofit Premiere of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, in the first production not directly supervised by Disney at a nonprofit regional theater. Guest United Scenic Artists lighting designer Tonry Lathroum and resident costumer Rebel Mickelson collaborate.

Two women complete the cast of characters, with tour veteran Weslie Webster (Julie and other roles in CAROUSEL’S National Broadway Touring Company) as the Kingsley’s neighbor lady, May Bell Whitehead. New Yorker Aileen Garrett, who scorns and then falls for David Kingsley, is played by Lindy Pendzick, new bride of leading man Greg, and also a member of THE MIRACLE’S premiere cast. .

In the show, David has big dreams of turning the 200-year-old family business into a garage and body shop, but his life changes when “yankee” Aileen spends the summer with her Aunt May. Love unexpectedly blooms between Aileen and David, but Vietnam intervenes when Russell intercepts a draft notice for David. TINYARD is a bittersweet love story with a powerful patriotic thread, which expresses a deep love for rural America and the challenge of balancing the calls of home, family and country.
Posted 4.14.10

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