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Charlie Chaplin Musical Biography "Behind the Limelight," Featuring Broadway Talent Luther Creek, Premieres July 21-24 at the Powerhouse Theatre Season

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Rising stage star Luther Creek reveals Charlie Chaplin, the wounded youth, the idealist, the cad, the genius, and one of film's great enigmas and greatest legends, in the new musical Behind the Limelight, premiering July 21-24.  at the 21st Vassar College and New York Stage & Film Powerhouse Season. Written and composed by Christopher Curtis, one of the brightest new lights of the musical theater, Behind the Limelight follows Chaplin from a London orphanage to his meteoric rise in the emerging American film industry. Chaplin's fame unravels into scandal when gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Jacqueline Piro) exposes one of his numerous trysts with young women.

Luther Creek has starred in several Broadway favorites, playing "Roger" in Rent, "Willard" in Footloose, and "Bobby Strong" in Urinetown.  Creek was featured in the first North America tour of Rent, and gained acclaim for his performance in the Lincoln Center Theater's A Man of No Importance

Jacquelyne Piro holds the distinction of portraying both the young innocent "Cosette" and the tragic heroine "Fantine" in the mega-hit Les Miserables, the only Broadway actress to range across these two distinct roles. She played "Ellen" in the Broadway run of Miss Saigon, and has been featured in a number of many national touring companies, including Sunset Boulevard, The Secret Garden, and Big.

Denise Summerford's (Chaplin's mother, "Hannah") Broadway performances include Taboo (which earned four Tony nominations), Saturday Night Fever, and The Rocky Horror Show.  Among her other work, she has toured with Grease!, The Who's Tommy, and Company, and the New York Theatre Festival production of Caligula.

Behind the Limelight creator Christopher Curtis has been a singer, pianist, and musical director for top performers such as Stevie Wonder and Rita Coolidge, and his theme song for the popular Discovery Channel/The Learning Channel TV series A Wedding Story has gained a cult following. He wrote and sang the theme song to the Trimark Pictures film The Break (starring Martin Sheen), and was recently signed to the songwriter program at Disney Animation, where he composed the songs for the in-development animated film Rapunzel.

Five performances of Behind the Limelight will be presented at the Martel Theatre in the Vassar College Center for Drama and Film  from Thursday July 21 through Sunday July 24, with shows each day at 8:00 p.m. as well as a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu, by phone at (845) 437-7235 or (845) 437-5599, or by visiting the Powerhouse Box Office on Vassar's Poughkeepsie, New York campus.

Since 1985, Vassar and the New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Season has premiered numerous new works destined for on- and off-Broadway production, and have made Poughkeepsie a theatre destination for thousands of theatre lovers.  Powerhouse has also trained an entire generation of young artists through its annual summer apprentice training program that produces an outdoor repertory series on the Vassar campus.  More than 200 professional playwrights, directors, actors, and designers, and more than 50 apprentices from high schools and colleges across the United States, live and work together each summer in a rich collaborative environment on the Vassar campus.

Further information on the Vassar and New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Season can be found at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, July 5, 2005