Video: Meet the Cast of Broadway's Water for Elephants | Playbill

Video Video: Meet the Cast of Broadway's Water for Elephants

The high-flying musical adaptation is currently in previews at Broadway's Imperial Theatre.

Grant Gustin and Isabelle McCalla Heather Gershonowitz

Water for Elephants has swung its way to Broadway, and the entrance to the circus tent is being pulled back to let you in behind the scenes.

"It's about a boy, Jacob Jankowski," shares Grant Gustin, who makes his Broadway debut in the piece. "He loses the people who matter the most to him. And it's about the choices you make and the person you are when you lose everything."

"Do you choose love or do you descend into madness?" Gustin's costar, Isabelle McCalla counters.

Based on Sara Gruen's acclaimed novel, the musical adaptation began performances at the Imperial Theatre February 24, where the show's high-flying acrobatics and wide musical palette immediately caught audience attention. With opening night set for March 21, watch the video below to get to know the cast and crew behind Broadway's newest musical.

Water for Elephants made its world premiere at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre in summer 2023. The musical features a book by Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher) and music and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co. (The Tale of Despereaux). Tony nominee Jessica Stone (Kimberly Akimbo) directs.

The work tells the story of a man who runs away from his life, only to find himself caught up in a traveling circus. This stage musical follows a 2011 film adaptation of the novel starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz. 

The Broadway cast features Grant Gustin (The Flash, Glee) in his Main Stem debut as Jacob Jankowski, alongside Isabelle McCalla (Shucked) as Marlena. Joining them are Gregg Edelman (City of Angels) as Mr. Jankowski, Paul Alexander Nolan (Parade) as August, Stan Brown (Homicide: Life in the Streets) as Camel, Joe De Paul (Cirque du Soleil's Dralion) as Walter, Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Barbara, and Wade McCollum (Wicked) as Wade.

The company is completed by Brandon Block, Antoine Boissereau, Rachael Boyd, Paul Castree, Ken Wulf Clark, Taylor Colleton, Gabriel Olivera de Paula Costa, Isabella Luisa Diaz, Samantha Gershman, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nicolas Jelmoni, Caroline Kane, Harley Ross Beckwith McLeish, Michael Mendez, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Asa Somers, Charles South, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar, and Michelle West.

The production also includes circus design by Shana Carroll, who has co-choreographed the piece with Jesse Robb. The creative team is filled out by scenic designer Takeshi Kata, costume designer David Israel Reynoso, lighting designer Bradley King, sound designer Walter Trarbach, projection designer David Bengali, hair and makeup designer Campbell Young Associates, music supervisor and arranger Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Benedict Braxton-Smith, and orchestrators Daryl Waters, Benedict Braxton-Smith, and August Eriksmoen.

Puppetry design is by Ray Wetmore (Spamalot), JR Goodman (Gutenberg!), and Camille Labarre (Into the Woods). Elizabeth Doran is music director, and Cha Ramos provide fight direction. Timothy R. Semon is the production stage manager. All but Trarbach and Doran are continuing with the production after working on the Atlanta world premiere.

Peter Schneider, Jennifer Costello, Grove Entertainment, Frank Marshall, Isaac Robert Hurwitz, and Seth A. Goldstein are producing the Broadway bow.


Photos: Water For Elephants Cast and Creatives Meet The Press

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