As previously announced, THE PERFORMERS will open on Broadway this fall with a cast starring Cheyenne Jackson, Ari Graynor, Daniel Breaker, Jenni Barber and Henry Winkler. THE PERFORMERS will begin preview performances October 23 prior to its official opening night November 14 at the Longacre Theatre (220 W. 48 St.) in New York City.
THE PERFORMERS will be directed by Evan Cabnet, who also directed David West Read's play THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY, a critical and popular hit when it debuted in March 2011 at Roundabout Theatre's Underground Series, produced by Robyn Goodman.
THE PERFORMERS is a romantic comedy about two high school friends (Cheyenne Jackson and Daniel Breaker) -- and the women in their lives (Ari Graynor and an actress to be announced) --who reconnect at the Adult Film Awards in Las Vegas. When the night takes an unexpected turn and relationships are threatened, Chuck Wood (Henry Winkler), the hardest-working man in thebusiness, steps in to lend a hand. Sex, love and Barry Manilow intersect in this comedy about the ups and downs and ins and outs of love.
In addition to THE PERFORMERS and THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY, Mr. Read is the author of the play HAPPY FACE, presented at South Coast Rep in 2010.
THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY is Mr. Read's first play on Broadway, and also marks the Broadway directing debut for Mr. Cabnet.
The PERFORMERS will have set design by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, costume design by Jessica Wegener Shay and sound design by Nevin Steinberg.
Cheyenne Jackson last appeared on Broadway in the revival of FINIAN'S RAINBOW, for which he received a Drama Desk nomination. He previously starred on Broadway in Xanadu (Drama Desk & Drama League Award nominations), ALL SHOOK UP (Theatre World Award, Outer Critics Circle & Drama League nominations), THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, and AIDA. His Off-Broadway credits include DAMN YANKEES (Encores!), THE AGONY & THE AGONY, and ALTAR BOYZ. Cheyenne also starred alongside an all-star cast in the recent benefit reading of Dustin Lance Black's 8 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. On television, Cheyenne can be seen in the recurring role of Danny Baker on the hit NBC series, "30 Rock." He has appeared in guest-starring roles in "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Glee," "Law & Order," "Ugly Betty," "Life on Mars," and "Lipstick Jungle," among others, and he recently completed production on the pilot for the forthcoming Bryan Fuller NBC series, "Mockingbird Lane." On film, Cheyenne portrayed the 9/11 hero Mark Bingham in the award-winning “United 93.” Among his other film credits include“Lola Versus,” “Price Check,” “The Green,” “Hysteria” and the upcoming “Mutual Friends.” Cheyenne is currently in production on the highly-anticipated HBO film, “Behind the Candelabra,” co-starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Most recently, Jackson signed a publishing deal with SONY/ATV, and has released his first two self-penned singles, "Drive" and "Before You," (which reached the Top 40 on the Hot 100 AC chart) from his forthcoming album, collaborating with Grammy-winning producer Steve Mostyn, Thomas “Tawgs” Salter, and including four songs co-written with platinum-selling artist and friend Sia Furler.
THE PERFORMERS marks the return of Henry Winkler to Broadway, where he last appeared in 2000 in Neil Simon's THE DINNER PARTY. Known to millions as The Fonz on the TV series "Happy Days" (two Golden Globe Awards), Mr. Winkler has enjoyed a career that spans 40 years as an actor, director, producer and author. His newest film "Here Comes the Boom," in which he stars with Kevin James and Salma Hayek, opens October 2012. His many films include "The Lords of Flatbush," "Heroes," "Night Shift," "The Waterboy" and “Click.” Mr. Winkler co-stars on the USA Network series "Royal Pains" and on Cartoon Network's "Children's Hospital." He earned an Emmy nomination for his guest-role on "The Practice" and won an Emmy for the animated show "Clifford: The Puppy Years." He had recurring roles on "Arrested Development," "Numb3rs," "Third Watch" and "Crossing Jordan." His credits as producer include "MacGyver," "Sightings," "Scandal Sheet" with Burt Lancaster, and the ABC documentary "Who Are the DeBolts and Where Did They Get 19 Kids?" (Humanitas Prize). He directed "Memories of Me" starring Billy Crystal and Alan King and "Cop and a Half" starring Burt Reynolds. He is the author of 21 children's books (with his collaborator Lin Oliver), including the "Hank Zipzer" series and "Ghost Buddy" series and together they have sold over four million books. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition for his services to children who are educationally challenged.
Ari Graynor was seen last season on Broadway in RELATIVELY SPEAKING, and previously starred in Douglas Carter Beane's THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED and Donald Margulies's BROOKLYN BOY, for which she received the Clarence Derwent Award. Her Off-Broadway credits include TRUST and DOG SEES GOD. Ari's many films include the upcoming "For a Good Time, Call…" (opening late summer 2012), "Celeste and Jesse Forever," the recent "The Sitter," "Conviction," "What's Your Number?" as well as standout roles in "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," "Youth in Revolt" and her film debut in "Mystic River." Ms. Graynor's TV credits include her debut recurring role on HBO's THE SOPRANOS and a recurring role on FRINGE.
Daniel Breaker starred on Broadway in the musical PASSING STRANGE, receiving Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations and winning the Village Voice Obie Award. Last seen on Broadway as Donkey in SHREK: THE MUSICAL, Mr. Breaker's other Broadway appearances include Lisa Kron's WELL and CYMBELINE at Lincoln Center. His film credits include having starred in Spike Lee's filmed version of PASSING STRANGE.
Jenni Barber previously performed on Broadway in THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. She appeared in the Bridge Project productions of AS YOU LIKE IT and THE TEMPEST, both directed by Sam Mendes at Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Off-Broadway in THE CACTUS FLOWER and FROM UP HERE at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Evan Cabnet most recently directed Kenneth Lin's play WARRIOR CLASS at Second Stage Theatre Uptown. Last season he directed OUTSIDE PEOPLE at the Vineyard Theatre and ALL AMERICAN for LCT3. Other NY credits include Elizabeth Meriwether’s THE MISTAKES MADELINE MADE, Bekah Brunstetter’s OOHRAH! and Mark Schultz’s THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE.
Robyn Goodman produced two Tony Award-winning musicals: AVENUE Q and IN THE HEIGHTS. Other Broadway credits include BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, METAMORPHOSES, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK and WEST SIDE STORY (2009). She was co-founder and artistic director of Second Stage Theatre for 13 years and is currently the artistic consultant to Roundabout Theatre Company, where she is the Producer of its Underground Series including the premiere of David West Read's THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY. With her partners in the production company Aged in Wood and Jill Furman, she will produce Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA on Broadway in the 2012-13 season.
Scott M. Delman's productions on Broadway include this season's DEATH OF A SALESMAN, THE MOUNTAINTOP and VENUS IN FUR along with the recent productions of BOOK OF MORMON, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, AMERICAN IDIOT, BLITHE SPIRIT, SPEED-THE-PLOW, RAGTIME, RACE, THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON and ALL MY SONS.
Amanda Lipitz was a producer of DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS and LEGALLY BLONDE on Broadway, along with MODERN ORTHODOX starring Jason Biggs and Molly Ringwald. She is currently working on an original movie musical for MTV directed by Michael Mayer, and the stage musical THE BROOKLYN SUPERHERO SUPPLY COMPANY with director Michael Mayer, book by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, music and lyrics by Peter Lerman. She served as Executive Producer and Creator of MTV's series "Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods."