‘Fly’ Cast Announced for Upcoming Pasadena Playhouse Production on Tuskegee Airmen

The company of FLY with Dr. Roscoe Brown, Tuskegee Airman and Chief Technical Consultant for FLY Click on the image to view the high-res version. Photo by The Pasadena Playhouse
The company of FLY with Dr. Roscoe Brown, Tuskegee Airman and Chief Technical Consultant for FLY. Photo by The Pasadena Playhouse

PASADENA, CA (January 4, 2016) The cast has been announced for the West Coast premiere of The Pasadena Playhouse –Crossroads Theatre Company production of Fly, by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, and inspired by the American Heroism of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Fly began rehearsals last week at The New Victory Theater in New York. Preview performances begin at The Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena) January 26, 2016 with the official press opening on January 31, 2016. Fly will play through February 21, 2016 at The Pasadena Playhouse, in honor of Black History Month.

The production will then have its Off-Broadway premiere at The New Victory Theater on March 11, 2016. An earlier, 55 minute version of Fly was presented by Lincoln Center Institute, the educational arm of Lincoln Center, in 2005.

Fly is directed by Khan, the Tony Award-winning co-founder and former artistic director of Crossroads Theatre Company, and choreographed by Hope Clark.

The cast features Brooks Brantly as W.W. (Off-Broadway: Significant Other, U.S. Tour of War Horse), Ross Cowan as Shaw (Portland Stage: Red, Berkshire Theatre Festival: Homestead Crossing), Omar Edwards as Tap Griot (Fly at Florida Studio Theatre, The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Loretto-Hilton Center Browning Mainstage, Ford’s Theatre Society), Anthony J. Goes as O’Hurley (Connecticut Repertory Theater: Olives and Blood, Chautauqua Theatre Company: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre: Paul), Brandon Nagle as Reynolds (Guthrie Theater:Mocondo, City Theater Austin: Death of a Salesman), Desmond Newson as Chet (Broadway: Motown: The Musical, 3D Theatricals: Hairspray, San Diego Musical Theatre: Rent), Damian Thompson as J. Allen (Off-Broadway: The Anthem, Around the World in 80 Days, By The Dawn’s Early Light), and Terrell Wheeler as Oscar (Florida Studio Theatre: Fly, Castillo Theatre:Children of Killers, New Ohio Theatre: That Poor Dream).

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse says, “Trey and Ricardo have conceived of a wonderfully theatrical and exciting way to approach this important chapter of American history.  Their work will be excitingly brought to life by this fine group of actors and the rest of the creative team.  I know that all of them will bring their artistry to the creation of our production in a way that will truly make the play ‘soar.’  It will be a pleasure to have the work of my long time friend and colleague Ricardo here at The Playhouse, and a joy to have this fine company on our stage.”

Ricardo Khan, Co-writer and Director of Fly says, “I have always been extremely fortunate to have the right cast of amazing people for every production of Fly that I’ve done over the years. It’s what makes the doing of this so compelling and complete. This cast for The Pasadena Playhouse/Crossroads production is extraordinary. We took much longer than usual to finally assemble the perfect group, but with Pat McCorkle casting, we did it!  And here we are with an exceptionally talented, passionate and committed ensemble of young men ready to take California by storm with a story of unparalleled positivity, pride, courage, achievement! Such an honor to be supported by Sheldon and The Pasadena Playhouse this way.  And so looking forward to bringing Fly finally to the West coast!”

The creative team for Fly includes Beowulf Boritt (Set Designer), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Designer), Rui Rita (Lighting Designer), John Gromada (Sound Designer), Clint Allen (Video/Projection Designer), Omar Edwards (Improvographer) and Pat McCorkle (Casting).

With a focus on hope, endurance, and accomplishment, Fly tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters known as the Tuskegee Airmen who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during World War II. Featuring a cast of eight men, including “Tap Griot,” a dancer who uses tap dance steps to set a mood that is part sublimated anger, part empowerment, Fly was hailed by The New York Times as “a superior piece of theatrical synergy.” Co-author and director Ricardo Khan is Tony Award-winning co-founder and former artistic director of the Crossroads Theatre Company, known as one of the nation’s foremost African-American theater companies. In honor of Black History month, The Pasadena Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre Company’s production of Fly dramatizes the historic contributions made by the Tuskegee Airmen to the desegregation of the American military and the furthering of civil rights.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101.  The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (no 7:00 p.m. performance Sunday, February 7). Tickets, priced from $25.00 to $87.00, are available online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org; by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529; or visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates.  On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.  For more information, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

Calendar Listing for Fly

Dates:   January 26 – February 21 (press opening Sunday, January 31) Play runs Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m.

Schedule: Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (no 7:00 p.m. performance Sunday, February 7)

Prices: $25.00 to $77.00 plus premium seating at $125.00

Venue:  The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena CA 91101

Tickets: Online sales and information: PasadenaPlayhouse.org
Phone: 626-356-7529

In Person: On non-performance dates, the Box Office is open Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until  6:00 p.m.

On performance dates, the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sunday

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