Four-time Tony Award-nominee Raul Esparza and Golden Globe Award-nominee Brooke Shields will star in the world premiere of the new musical Leap Of Faith, which begins performances at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in September.
Based on the Steve Martin movie and featuring a score by eight-time Academy Award-winner Alan Menken, book by Janus Cercone with Glenn Slater, and lyrics by Glenn Slater, Leap Of Faith will star Raśl Esparza as Reverend Jonas Nightengale, the consummate flim-flam man, and Brooke Shields as Marva, the beautiful small-town woman and single mother who challenges everything Jonas believes in.
Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford is the director and choreographer.
"Leap of Faith" will be presented September 11 through October 24, 2010, with the opening scheduled for October 3.
When his traveling ministry breaks down in a small Kansas town, part-time reverend and full-time con artist (Esparza) quickly pitches a tent and invites the locals to a revival. The sheriff is determined to stop Jonas from separating the townspeople from their money, but Jonas' real challenge arises when he meets a pretty waitress (Shields) and her son, whose love forces an ultimate cynic to take a real leap of faith.
The new musical is based on the motion picture Leap Of Faith produced by Paramount Pictures Corporation and written by Janus Cercone.
Raśl Esparza received Tony Award nominations for Speed the Plow (Actor - Play, 2009), The Homecoming (Actor, Featured Role - Play, 2008), Company (Actor - Musical, 2007) and Taboo (Actor, Featured Role - Musical, 2004). He is only the second actor to have received Tony nominations in all four acting categories. Other Broadway credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show (his Broadway debut) and the recent lauded Encores! presentation of Anyone Can Whistle. Off-Broadway he appeared in The Normal Heart, Comedians and tick, tick . . . BOOM! (for which he won an Obie Award). He made his film debut in Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty, and will appear in Wes Craven's My Soul to Take, which opens later this year. He just recently finished the indie film GWB. Television credits include "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Pushing Daisies".
An accomplished television, film and theatre actress, New York Times best-selling author, and model, Brooke Shields began her film career at nine and went on to star in such films as Louis Malle's Pretty Baby, Franco Zeffirelli's Endless Love and James Toback's Black and White. She made her Broadway debut in Grease for which she won the Theatre Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. Moving to television, she earned a nomination for Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a Television Series for her turn in the hit show "Friends" and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her own hit comedy series "Suddenly Susan." She is the recipient of Five People's Choice Awards. Her off-Broadway credits include Love Letters, The Vagina Monologues, Love, Loss, and What I Wore (winner of a Drama Desk Award), to name a few. After receiving a degree in French Literature and graduating with honors from Princeton University, she went on to star in Cabaret, Wonderful Town and Chicago on Broadway.
Leap Of Faith is the first production in Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre's 2010-2011 season at the Los Angeles County Music Center.
Tickets for the Ahmanson Theatre's 2010-2011 season are currently available by subscription only. For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444. To purchase subscriptions on-line, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/Ahmanson.