TheatreZone in Naples, celebrating its 15th season, will present the Florida premiere of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera Feb. 6 through Feb. 16.
Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera premiered in Portland, OR, produced by Triangle Productions, in 2008. It is a dark comedy featuring music produced with a great deal of heart. This work of fiction, inspired by actual events, utilizes the 1994 Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan media scandal to explore America’s obsession with celebrity scandals and its “go for the gold at all costs” attitude.
With libretto and concept by Elizabeth Searle and music by Michael Teoli, audiences can expect hilarity, poignant moments, and a radical score, along with adult subject matter and language including admittedly frequent “f-bombs,” and non-stop energy in this unique theatrical experience.
“’Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera’ brings a different musical genre to the stage,” said Mark Danni, TheatreZone founding artistic director. “It is based on a story audiences know, but it will be presented in a format that may be new to them.”
Local performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 – 9 and Feb. 13 – 16; 2 p.m. matinee performances will be presented on Feb. 8, 9, 15 and 16.
“This show has only been presented in Boston, New York and Chicago,” said Danni. “The producer flew to Naples specifically to meet with us because he wanted to have the show staged in Florida and immediately thought of me and TheatreZone.”
The professional cast includes Andrea McArdle in a tour de force dual role as the mother of both Harding and Kerrigan. McArdle is widely known for her performances in the title role of the 1977 mega-musical Annie, based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie.” As Annie, she became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She also received the Theater World and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for her performance and went on to star when the show was produced on London’s West End.
“This is Annie like you’ve never seen her before,” said Danni. “Andrea has such versatility as an actress, and we all know how amazing her voice is for this show. I can’t wait to see her portray the abrasive ‘tell it like it is’ Mrs. Harding and then turn around and portray the sweet but passive-aggressive Mrs. Kerrigan.”
Rounding out the professional cast are Nikki Miller, Whitney Winfield, Matthew Ryan Sather, Adolpho Blaire, David Tanciar, Anthony Nuccio, Siena Worland, Cherry Hamlin and Lynn Craig.
Nikki Miller plays Tonya Harding. Her previous credits include Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre), Penny Pingleton in Hairspray, Molly in Peter and the Starcartcher, Patty Simcox in Grease, Wendy in Peter Pan, and Paw Patrol Live! at theatres such as Paper Mill Playhouse, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, and Centenary Stage Company. She received a BFA in acting from Marymount Manhattan College.
Whitney Winfield will play Nancy Kerrigan. Whitney said she is grateful to return to TheatreZone for her first show of the ’20s. Though New York City is now her home, Naples is her hometown and where she was bitten by “the bug.” At TheatreZone, she has appeared in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, No, No, Nanette, Mack and Mabel, BKLYN the Musical; national tour of Shrek the Musical and some Off Broadway and regional theatre work. “After 22 delight-filled years in theatre and 30 total on earth, I’ve learned that gratitude, family and friends are the super glue that makes it all possible,” says Whitney.
Tickets are available at www.theatre.zone or by calling the box office at 888-966-3352 x1.
TheatreZone is a nonprofit, professional equity theatre located in-residence at the 250-seat G&L Theatre on the Community School of Naples campus, 13275 Livingston Rd., Naples.