Dave is a musical with music by Tom Kitt, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and a book by Benjamin and Thomas Meehan. Based on the 1993 American political comedy film of the same name written by Gary Ross, the musical made its world premiere try-out at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in July 2018. The musical centers on Dave Kovic, a high school teacher (and presidential look-alike) who is hired by the Secret Service when the President falls ill.
|Book||Thomas Meehan |
by Ivan Reitman
|Premiere||July 18, 2018: Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.|
The musical is based on the 1993 film Dave. The film itself starred Kevin Kline as Dave Kovic and President Bill Mitchell and Sigourney Weaver as First Lady Ellen Mitchell and featured a number of prominent actors in supporting roles including Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Charles Grodin, and Ben Kingsley. The film was produced on a budget of $28 million, earning $63.3 million
The musical was first reported in November 2014 by Variety following a private industry reading held on October 31. In summer 2016, it was announced that the musical held a second private reading starring Brian d’Arcy James and Carmen Cusack. An additional lab was held in 2017, again with James starring in the title role.
It was announced in January 2018 that the musical would premiere at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in summer 2018. On March 27, 2018, it was announced that Drew Gehling would star in the title role. In May 2018, it was announced that Gehling would be joined by Mamie Parris as Ellen Mitchell.
Arena Stage (2018)Edit
The musical began previews at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., on July 18, 2018, for a limited engagement until August 19, 2018. The production is directed by Tina Landau. The production's design team includes scenery by Dane Laffrey, costumes by Toni-Leslie James, lighting by Japhy Weideman, projections by Peter Nigrini, and sound by Walter Trarbach.
The musical has been updated to reflect current technology and practices, such as social media, cell phones, Twitter, a 24/7 news cycle and YouTube.
Characters and original castEdit
|Character||Reading (2016)||Lab (2017)||Arena Stage (2018)|
|Dave Kovic / President Bill Mitchell||Brian d’Arcy James||Drew Gehling|
|First Lady Ellen Mitchell||Carmen Cusack||Stephanie J. Block||Mamie Parris|
|Agent Duane Bolden||Colby Lewis||James Monroe Iglehart||Josh Breckenridge|
|Chief of Staff Bob Alexander||Michael Rupert||Douglas Sills|
|Communications Director Susan Lee||Ann Sanders||Ann Harada||Bryonha Marie Parham|
|Vice President Gary Nance / President Andrew Johnson||Jonathan Rayson|
|Randi Hagopian||Rachel Flynn|
|Murray Stein / President John Quincy Adams||Kevin R. Free|
|Mrs. Smit / President William Howard Taft||Sherri L. Edelen|
|Montana Jefferson||Dana Costello|
|Mr. Wheeler||Adam J. Levy|
|President James Buchanan||Jamison Scott|
|President Rutherford B. Hayes||Erin Quill|
|President Benjamin Harrison||Trista Dollison|
|President Warren Harding||Jared Bradshaw|
- Washington D.C.
Awards and honorsEdit
Original Washington, D.C. productionEdit
|Helen Hayes Awards||Outstanding Direction in a Musical - Hayes||Tina Landau||Won|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical - Hayes||Drew Gehling||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical - Hayes||Bryonha Marie Parham||Nominated|
|Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation||Tom Kitt, Thomas Meehan, and Nell Benjamin||Nominated|
|Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical - Hayes||Nominated|
|Outstanding Production in a Musical - Hayes||Nominated|
- "Tom Kitt, Nell Benjamin, Thomas Meehan Developing Musical Adaptation of Comedic "Dave" Film". playbill.com. Playbill. November 11, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- "AFI-Catalog". catalog.afi.com.
- "Dave at Box Office Mojo". Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- "Brian d'Arcy James, Carmen Cusack & More Take Part in DAVE Reading". broadwayworld.com. BroadwayWorld. July 22, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- "Starry Creative Team to Debut Musical Adaptation of Dave at Arena Stage". broadway.com. Broadway.com. January 26, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Gans, Andrew (March 27, 2018). "Waitress' Drew Gehling Will Star in World Premiere of New Musical Dave". playbill.com. Playbill. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- "Tina Landau Will Direct World Premiere of Tom Kitt's Dave Musical". playbill.com. Playbill. January 26, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Gans, Andrew (May 4, 2018). "Mamie Parris, Bryonha Marie Parham, More Will Join Drew Gehling in World Premiere of Dave Musical". playbill.com. Playbill. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Menefee, Lynne. "Theatre Review: 'Dave' at Arena Stage" mdtheatreguide.com, August 1, 2018
- "2019 Helen Hayes Awards" (PDF). theatrewashington.org. 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.