Lead casting has been announced for the Broadway-bound musical The Pirate Queen. Stephanie J. Block, Linda Balgord, Hadley Fraser and Jeff McCarthy will star in the show, premiering at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre in the fall.
Block, who will play the title role of Grania O'Malley in The Pirate Queen, appeared on Broadway as Liza Minnelli in The Boy from Oz. She performed the role of Wicked's Elphaba during the early stages of that musical's development, was the standby for the role during the tuner's San Francisco tryout and later headlined its national tour. Her other theatrical credits include regional productions of Love A Piano, Fiddler on the Roof, James Joyce's The Dead, The Grass Harp and Funny Girl.
Balgord most recently appeared on the Great White Way as Mme. Dindon in La Cage aux Folles. She was the final Grizabella in Cats and also appeared on Broadway in Passion. Balgord played Norma Desmond in the first national tour of Sunset Boulevard and also toured the United States and Canada as Rose Vibert in Aspects of Love. In The Pirate Queen, Balgord will play Elizabeth I, Queen of England.
McCarthy has appeared on Broadway in Urinetown, Side Show, Beauty and the Beast, Smile and Zorba. His off-Broadway credits include Dream True and Sympathetic Magic.McCarthy will play Dubdara, Grania's father, in The Pirate Queen. This is the role Colm Wilkinson was reportedly offered.
The Pirate Queen, by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg whose work together includes Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Martin Guerre, is based on the real-life story of the legendary Irish pirate chieftain, Grace Grania O'Malley, who was a pirate, chieftain, lover and mother in 16th century Ireland. O'Malley was one of the last Irish clan leaders to resist the English conquest of Gaelic Ireland.
The Pirate Queen, directed by Frank Galati, is scheduled to tryout at the Cadillac Palace from October 3 through November 26. It is aiming for a Broadway berth later in the season.