Stepping Out

End is near for 'Tuck Everlasting'


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jesse (Eddie Grey, center left), Winnie (Natalie Schroeder, center, on cart) and a fair-goer (Jonathan Rhys Williams, center right) have fun at the fair in TheatreWorks’ “Tuck Everlasting.”

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s regional premiere of “Tuck Everlasting” is scheduled to close Sunday at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

Based on the best-selling novel by Natalie Babbitt, “Tuck” is set in the 1890s. Winnie Foster searches for adventure, finding the Tucks, a family that has discovered the secret to everlasting life. Winnie faces the choice of a lifetime: return to everyday life or join the Tucks on their voyage through time.

Robert Kelley, TheatreWorks’ founding artistic director, directs “Tuck,” which features a score by Chris Miller and lyrics by Nathan Tysen. The production marks a homecoming for Miller and Tysen, who created songs for the show while in residence at TheatreWorks’ 2010 writers’ retreat.

Miller and Tysen’s Off-Broadway work includes “The Burnt Part Boys” (Lucille Lortel nomination, Best Musical) and “Fugitive Songs” (Drama Desk Award nomination, Outstanding Revue). They have also written two circuses for Ringling Bros., contributed to the revue “Stars of David,” collaborated with the Broadway Inspiration Voices and penned an adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s book “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.”

Natalie Schroeder and Katie Maupin share the role of Winnie Foster. Schroeder returns to TheatreWorks after performing in last season’s world premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s “The Prince of Egypt,” and Maupin makes her TheatreWorks debut. One of 12 performers to be selected to sing the national anthem for the U.S. Open, Schroeder has also performed at Lincoln Center in the Broadway Dreams NYC Showcase and at Berkeley Playhouse. Maupin has starred in productions at 42nd Street Moon and Hillbarn Theatre.

Eddie Grey makes his TheatreWorks debut as Jesse Tuck, an immortal teenager who befriends Winnie when they meet at a stream in the woods near his family’s home. Grey has appeared in the original Australian casts of “The Book of Mormon,” “Legally Blonde” and “Spring Awakening.”

Jonathan Rhys Williams plays Angus Tuck, Jesse’s father, in his return to TheatreWorks, where he was nominated for SF Bay Area Critics Circle Awards in “Triumph of Love” and “Violet.”

Kristine Reese portrays Mae Tuck, Jesse’s mother. She has performed leading roles in the national tours of “Pippin,” “Finding Neverland” and “Wicked.”

Travis Leland plays Miles Tuck, Jesse’s brother. Returning to TheatreWorks, where he was seen as Frank Churchill in “Emma,” Leland has performed at the Geffen Playhouse and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Michael Gene Sullivan, who has performed with TheatreWorks many times over the past 20 years, returns to portray The Man in the Yellow Suit, a carnival worker in pursuit of the Tuck family. Seen as Detective Fix in last season’s “Around the World in 80 Days,” Sullivan has also been seen at TheatreWorks in “Cyrano,” “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

Marissa Rudd and Giana Gambardella play carnival workers in The Man in the Yellow Suit’s troupe. Colin Thompson plays Constable Joe, the policeman sent to find Winnie by her parents, and David Crane plays Hugo, Constable Joe’s son. Other cast members include Teressa Foss (as Betsy Foster, Winnie’s mother) and Lucinda Hitchcock Sullivan (Nana, Winnie’s grandmother).

Performances are scheduled 2 and 7:30 p.m. today – with a 6 p.m. sensory-sensitive performance in between – 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $40-$100.

For tickets and more information, call 463-1960 or visit theatreworks.org.

End is near for ‘Tuck Everlasting’Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier Jesse (Eddie Grey, center left), Winnie (Natalie Schroeder, center, on cart) and a fair-goer (Jonathan Rhys Williams, center right) have fun at the fair in TheatreWorks’ “Tuck Everlasting.”

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