Press Release: The Grand Tour



"I'll be here tomorrow, alive and well and thriving,
I'll be here tomorrow, my talent is 'surviving'"






Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman
Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble
Choreography by Peggy Hickey
Musical Direction by Jeff Rizzo
  Directed by Evan Weinstein

Performances Begin Saturday, November 5th at 8:00pm
at the Colony Theatre in Burbank!

October 31, 2005... Burbank, CA... The Colony Theatre Company presents the third production of its celebratory 30th anniversary year with a world premiere revision of a Jerry Herman musical, featuring a song restored to this production by Jerry Herman and extensive re-writes of the book by Mark Bramble. THE GRAND TOUR, features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble, choreography by Peggy Hickey, musical direction by Jeff Rizzo , direction by Evan Weinstein (The Colony's Candide, CBS TV's "The Amazing Race") and stars Jason Graae (Grand Hotel, Kismet), Tami Tappan Damiano (Guys and Dolls, On the Town) and John Ganun.  THE GRAND TOUR will preview Wednesday, November 2; Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4 and will open on Saturday, November 5 and continue through Sunday, December 4  at the Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.

It's a race against time across the Nazi-occupied French countryside. To escape, a humble young Jew fleeing for his life must suddenly join forces with an anti-Semitic Polish officer smuggling secret papers to England. Come share this odd couple's harrowing yet grand adventures, told through Jerry Herman's rousing music and lyrics. Experience the truths they discover about courage, survival, and the meaning of friendship.  

Comments Colony Artistic Director Barbara Beckley: "It is unreal to me that we are in the unbelievably wonderful position to bring our subscribers and audiences a world premiere revision of a Jerry Herman musical. Jerry and Mark refer to THE GRAND TOUR as 'the show we loved and lost,' and they're both so excited to be re-visiting this amazing piece of work. To have their input and launch it on our stage is a dream come true for any theatre. To be working with Evan Weinstein again who directed one of our most successful musicals in Candide, to have Jason Graae back on our stage again with the rest of this extraordinary cast is absolutely thrilling."

EVAN WEINSTEIN (Director) returns to the Colony for the first time since directing the award-winning production of Candide. Though theatre is Evan's first love, he spends most of his time working in television. He is currently Co-Executive Producer of the CBS reality series, "The Amazing Race," for which he has won three Emmy Awards and a Producer's Guild Award. Other TV credits include producing, directing and/or writing for the following shows: "Paradise Hotel" (FOX); "Profiles From The Front Line," "Before They Were Stars," "Kids Are Funny" and "America's Funniest People" (ABC); "Wild Things," "Extra" and "The Suzanne Somers Show" (syndicated); A&E's "Top Ten" (A&E Network); "The Most" and "The Apostle Paul" (The History Channel); "Heroes For The Planet" (National Geographic Channel). Before getting into television, and sporadically since, Evan has had the opportunity to direct plays and musicals. Credits include: The Fantasticks, Wait Until Dark, Bitter Friends with Shelly Berman, A Kidnapped Santa Clause with Lauren Tewes and Vic Taybak, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Torch Song Trilogy, Seduction Duet, Vanities, Flashback & Johnny Moonbeam (TYA Tours for Syracuse Stage), and the original workshops and readings of Aaron Sorkin's Removing All Doubt. Evan received a Diploma of Music from New York's "famed" High School of Performing Arts and a BFA in Theatre from Syracuse University. He returned to Syracuse last May to deliver the keynote address to 6,000parents and graduating seniors from the University's College of Visual & Performing Arts.

JERRY HERMAN (Composer/Lyricist) There is never an evening when, somewhere in the world, the music and lyrics of Jerry Herman are not being sung by a lady in a red headdress, or a lady with a bugle, or a middle-aged man in a wig and a boa. Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage are home to some of the most popular, most-often performed and most successful musical heroines of all time, and have given Jerry the distinction of being the only composer-lyricist in history to have had three musicals that ran more than 1,500 consecutive performances on Broadway. His first Broadway show was Milk and Honey (1961), followed by Hello, Dolly! (1964) Mame (1966) Dear World (1969), Mack & Mabel (1974) The Grand Tour (1979), La Cage (1983), Jerry's Girls (1985) and "Mrs. Santa Claus" (1966), a CBS TV special starring Angela Lansbury. Showtune, a revue of his life's work, is performing in regional theatres around the country. His string of awards and honors includes Tonys, Grammys, Drama Desk Awards, the Johnny Mercer Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Oscar Hammerstein Award, the Frederick Lowe Award, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Theatre Hall of Fame.

MICHAEL STEWART (Book) scored on Broadway the first time out when he won a Tony for his Bye Bye Birdie libretto. Subsequently he was the librettist for Carnival, for which he won the Drama Critics Circle Award, and Hello , Dolly!, which won him both the Tony and the Drama Critics prize. He also wrote the books for George M!, Mack and Mabel, Harrigan and Hart and co-authored 42nd Street and The Grand Tour. He wrote the book and lyrics for I Love My Wife and the lyrics for Barnum. Mr. Stewart died in 1987.

MARK BRAMBLE (Book) began his theatrical career working for David Merrick on many Broadway productions. As author, his shows include Barnum with songs by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart (ten Tony Award nominations including Best Book and Best Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical), 42nd Street with songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin (Tony Award for Best Musical, Laurence Olivier Award for Musical of The Year, Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Musical, Plays and Player Citation For Musical Of The Year, etc.), The Three Musketeers with the music of Rudolph Friml, many collaborations with Michael Stewart including The Grand Tour, Treasure Island with songs by Jule Styne, and the off Broadway opera Elizabeth & Essex. At the Haymarket Theatre, in Leicester, England, Mr. Bramble and Henry Krieger created Fat Pig, a rock and roll extravaganza about health. He also adapted and staged Notre Dame, a musical based on Victor Hugo's novel at Saddler's Wells, London, and in Oxford. His radio musical In With the Old was produced as a Christmas Day special on BBC Radio, with an all-star cast. He directed the Tony Award winning revival of 42nd Street. 

JEFF RIZZO (Musical Director/New Arrangements) is pleased to be at the Colony again after conducting last year's Grand Hotel. He musically directed Madison Square Garden's The Wizard of Oz starring Roseanne, the national tour, and the Grammy nominated cast recording starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt. He was associate conductor of the US premiere of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close at the Shubert Theatre and conductor of the fourth national tour of Annie. Pleased to be working again with Mark Bramble, who co-wrote and directed the recent revival of 42nd Street, Jeff conducted the national tour, playing the Ahmanson Theatre in 2003. Recently, he has been audition accompanist for the upcoming film of "Dreamgirls". Jeff has done countless shows, working for most of the major regional musical theater companies, throughout the country. As a composer his work includes the scores for Jailbirds on Broadway, Wanna Play?!, and a new musical version of A Christmas Carol.. With partner Eric Andrist, he co-founded the Musical Theatre Guild.

Award-winning Choreographer PEGGY HICKEY has collaborated with such renowned artists as Plácido Domingo, Samuel Ramey, Denyce Graves, Susan Graham, Jonathan Kent, and Franco Zeffirelli. Internationally, Peggy has choreographed La Cenerentola for the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Salome for the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, and a long-running production of Fiddler on the Roof in Mexcio City. Her production of Hansel und Gretel at the Juilliard School was televised on PBS' Live From Lincoln Center and her choreography for Washington Opera's Die Fledermaus (with Plácido Domingo) was broadcast on PBS' Great Performances' Live from the Kennedy Center.

Other U.S. credits include La Traviata at Palm Beach Opera; La Rondine and The Most Happy Fella (February 2006) for New York City Opera; La Bohème, Aida, Falstaff, and Vanessa for Los Angeles Opera; Die Fledermaus for San Diego Opera; Lucillo Silla at Santa Fe Opera, and The Merry Widow for Houston Grand Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

In film and television, Peggy was awarded the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography for her work on Beck's The New Pollution; nominated for a MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence in a Feature Film for her work on The Brady Bunch Movie, and nominated for an American Choreography Award for her hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, "I Ain't Sorry" for NBC's Passions. The episode also won 2 Emmy Awards. She choreographed the highly successful "Nurses' Ball" for eight consecutive years on ABC's General Hospital and Port Charles, and recently completed choreographing "Bonnie's Cowboy Fantasy" for Days of Our Lives. A two-time recipient of the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Choreography for Brigadoon and On the Twentieth Century at Goodspeed Musicals, Peggy also choreographed Amour, The King of Hearts and A Little Night Music for Goodspeed, which garnered her yet another nomination for the Connecticut Critics' Circle Award. A few of her other regional credits include Gigi for Music Theatre West (L.A. Dramalogue Award); The King and I at Casa Manana; My Fair Lady and Carousel for Sacramento Music Circus; and State Fair for Music Theatre of Wichita. Peggy received the Independent Reviewers of New England's Award for Choreography for the Reagle Players' production of Singin' in The Rain in Massachusetts.

The cast of THE GRAND TOUR includes: Jason Graae, who returns to the Colony as Jacobowsky, after appearing most recently as Otto Kringelein in Grand Hotel; Tami Tappan Damiano will star as Marianne , John Ganun will star as the Colonel and the cast will also feature Cynthia Beckert, Robyn Cohen, Michael Dotson, Gordon Goodman, Marsha Kramer, Peter Musante and John Racca,.

THE GRAND TOUR has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by Bradley Kaye (The Laramie Project, Side Show). The costume design is by Jeffrey Schoenberg (The Ladies of the Camellias, Side Show). The sound design is by Drew Dalzell (Grand Hotel, Around the World in 80 Days). The lighting design is by Don Guy (Grand Hotel).

THE GRAND TOUR will open on Saturday, November 5 and perform through Sunday, December 4, 2005. Performances for THE GRAND TOUR will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Additionally there will be performances on Saturday, November 12 and Saturday, November 19 at 3:00pm; and also Wednesday, November 23 and Thursday, December 1 at 8:00pm. There will be no 7:00pm performance on Sunday, November 6. Ticket prices range from $43.00 - $48.00 (student, senior and group discounts are available). Preview performances will be Wednesday, November 2, Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4 at 8:00pm - tickets are $20.00 and $25.00. Opening night performance with reception tickets are $50.00 and $55.00. There will be two Talk-Back performances with the cast on Friday, November 11 and Wednesday, November 23 immediately following the performance. For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818/558-7000 ext. 15. 

For more information or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at

The Colony Theatre Company is a 29 year old organization dedicated to bringing the finest quality theatrical productions to Los Angeles. The theatre is located at 555 North Third Street, at the corner of Cypress, in the heart of the Burbank Media Center. For further information, call (818) 558-7000. Fax number: (818) 558-7110. E-mail: Or visit our website at www.colonytheatre.ORG.