Trading Places, a new musical based on the 1983 Paramount Pictures film starring Eddie Murphy, will make its world premiere at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre beginning May 25.
Directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Soldier's Play, A Raisin in the Sun), the production will play the Coca-Cola Stage through June 26. Leon is the former artistic director of the Alliance Theatre.
The cast will be led by Aneesa Folds (Freestyle Love Supreme) as Billie Rae, Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder) as Louis, Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (Girl From the North Country) as Mortimer, Lenny Wolpe (Bullets Over Broadway) as Randolph Duke, McKenzie Kurtz (Frozen) as Penelope, Josh Lamon (The Prom) as Beeks, Joe Montoya as Phil, and Don Stephenson (Trouble in Mind) as Coleman.
The ensemble includes Benjamin Howes, Raymond J. Lee, Michael McCorry Rose, and Nyla Watson with additional actors to be announced.
Based on the movie by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod, the new musical features a book by Thomas Lennon and music and lyrics by First Date's Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. Fatima Robinson choreographs with associate direction by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden.
The musical re-imagining of the prince and pauper fable concerns Billie Rae Valentine, a savvy hustler down on her luck, and Louis Winthorpe III, a minted commodities-trading firm director, who have their lives deliberately switched by the devious Duke brothers to settle a petty bet.
The creative team also includes orchestrator August Eriksmoen, music director Rick Edinger, scenic designer Beowulf Boritt, lighting designer Adam Honoré, sound designer John Shivers, costume designer Emilio Sosa, intimacy consultant Sasha Nicolle Smith, and fight choreographer Rick Sordelet. The stage manager is Ralph Stan Lee.
“I am so excited to come home with this world class creative team and a new musical that I know will resonate and be embraced by the Atlanta community,” said Leon in an earlier statement. “With Trading Places we’re exploring the idea of what would happen if we all traded places with someone else, even for a day, literally putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s relevant; it’s uplifting; everyone will feel heard and represented. And you’re going to laugh, a lot! It’s the perfect play for right now.”