World Premiere of Loch Ness Monster, Begins Tonight at Chance Theater

Jan 30, 2015
Loch Ness Monster

Chance Theater will present the world premiere of the bright, imaginative flight of fancy Loch Ness, a new musical. Music and book by Marshall Pailet, lyrics and book by AD. Penedo, with direction by Marshall Pailet, choreography by Kelly Todd and music direction by Mark Sonnenblick. Loch Ness, a new musical will preview from tonight, January 30 through February 5, regular performances will begin February 6 and continue through February 28 on the mainstage at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center.

Chances are, you've heard of the Loch Ness Monster. But have you met the lady herself? In this whimsical new musical, a scientist's young daughter discovers herself -- and a small, reptilian, and very magical creature -- in the waters of the Scottish Highlands. Developed through our OTR reading series, Loch Ness is equal parts cheeky comedy, heart-warming family drama, and uplifting musical journey. This production is rated E for everyone, and is great for the entire family!

At the Chance, Loch Ness is truly a family experience. Father-and-son team Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo conceived and wrote the piece, then joined up with their extended family here at the Chance when Marshall was our 2013 resident playwright. As part of his residency (which also included the Ovation Award-winning Triassic Parq - The Musical), the Chance did the first staged reading of Loch Ness (which only had a first act!). A.D. and Marshall returned in 2014 to present the completed version of the show (to the relief of Chance patrons who were dying to know what happened) as part of our On The Radar Reading Series.

"The readings have been great exercises for getting the piece in front of audiences," said Pailet and Penedo. "We can see what's working and where it still needs work. For example, it's the audience's decision, not ours, as to what's funny and what's not, which characters are clear and compelling and which are problematic."

Both writers look forward to a fully-fledged production. Having used the readings of last year as a powerful springboard, they are excited to "at last bring together all of the disparate elements that make theater the magic that it is." They both felt that a simple reading couldn't "convey the feel of our...Loch Ness, which is ancient, grey, misty, eerie, and mysterious."

In addition to Marshall at the helm as the director, the production team for Loch Ness, a new musical also includes resident artist Kelly Todd as choreographer (who recently won the Ovation Award for Lysistrata Jones), music director Mark Sonnenblick, scenic and puppet designers Fred Kinney and Megan Hill, sound designer Ryan Brodkin, costume designer Rachael Lorenzetti, lighting designer Jonathan Daroca, props designer Amy Ramirez, puppet mechanics designer Baxley Andresen, associate director Nora Ives, orchestrator and music supervisor Ryan O'Connell and resident artist Nicole Schlitt as stage manager.

The cast for Loch Ness, a new musical is filled with familiar faces from prior Chance productions, including resident artists Alex Bueno (Triassic Parq) and Laura M. Hathaway (Secret Garden), as well as Julia Cassandra Smith (In The Heights), Jackson Tobiska (Lysistrata Jones), Angeline Mirenda (In The Heights), Katie Brown (A Celtic Holiday with Craic in the Stone), Gina Velez (West Side Story), Keaton Williams (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), Matt Takahashi (She Loves Me) and Corky Loupe (She Loves Me).