Castle Walk


Next Link Selection, 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival
premiere performances July 22-28, 2013, Pearl Theatre, New York City

A musical about the famous, trend-setting 1910’s dancers Vernon and Irene Castle, and Hollywood in the 1930’s.

Conception by Richard Stafford, book, music, and lyrics by Milton Granger

Additional material by Jere Lee Hodgin

In 1938 RKO Studios filmed “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Irene Castle herself was hired as technical advisor on the film, and, according to reports, was not entirely happy with the project. CASTLE WALK imagines a conference between her and the film’s director, H.C. Potter, during which she strives to set the record straight, while reliving her professional and personal life with Vernon (who was killed in WWI).

1 - Close Enough
Irene sings to Vernon’s memory about her excitement that their life story is to be filmed. IRENE: Judy McLane
2 - She Dances Like An AngelVernon Castle, appearing to Irene in a memory sequence, re-enacts their triumphant appearance at the Café de Paris in 1912 Vernon: Ted Keegan

3 - Old Dobbin
Irene remembers the kind of number she and Vernon sang when starting out in vaudeville.
Young Irene: Jennifer Mackenzie Dunne
Vernon: Ted Keegan
4 - Where is Spring?Irene visits the RKO set, a re-creation of the Café de Paris, and waxes nostalgic.
Irene: Judy Mclane

5 - I'd like to dance through life with you
Irene remembers her days in Paris when she and Vernon were not yet famous.
Young Irene: Jennifer Mackenzie Dunne
Vernon: Ted Keegan
6 - Let's go around the townWalter Ash, Vernon and Irene’s friend/servant who has accompanied them to Paris, has won a lot of money in a pick-up poker game. Now they can eat – and celebrate.
Vernon: Ted Keegan
Young Irene: Jennifer Mackenzie Dunne
Walter: Ken Prymus
7 - The Oscar
Irene imagines what Ginger Rogers’ real motivation is behind making the RKO movie.
Ginger Rogers: Emily Rozek
8 - Nothing UnderfootIrene describes to H.C. what dancing with Vernon was like.
Irene: Judy Mclane

9 - Lucky break
Irene remembers her first meeting with Vernon, a young British comic hoping to become a musical headliner.
Vernon: Bret Shuford
10 - ForeverIrene points out that, while her performances with Vernon are lost forever, the Astaire-Rogers movies can be seen over and over again.
Irene: Judy McLane
11 - Pills
Irene imagines how she fears H.C. and the studio may be reacting to her suggestions and rants.
H.C.: John Bolton
Fred Astaire: David Elder
Ginger Rogers: Emily Rozek
Irene: Karen Ziemba
12 - Crash!!Walter Ash has died by the time the RKO movie is made, but Irene can still hear his advice.
Walter: David Jackson

13 - Castle Walk
“Castle Walk” was their signature dance, although this is a new song, not the original number by bandleader James Europe.
Young Irene: Rebecca Robbins
14 - In the middle of our loveIrene has been asked to leave the studio set. She imagines Vernon singing to her from beyond the grave.
Vernon: Ted Keegan
15 - Everything Matters
The ghost of Vernon tries to tell Irene that nothing about this earthly life matters that much. Irene replies
Irene: Judy McLane
16 - FinaleEnsemble
Sally Ann Swarm
Milena Govich
Benjamin Randall
Chris Thompson

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