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Michael McKean joins cast of Randy Newman's 'Harps and Angels'

September 9, 2010 |  5:00 am

MckeanFrom his role in "This Is Spinal Tap," we know Michael McKean can sing rock music. But how will he fare when it comes to the particular challenges of musical theater?

The musical "Harps and Angels" is set to have its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles in November. Director Jerry Zaks has assembled a principal cast of six, including  McKean, Tony winner Adriane Lenox and TV's Katey Sagal. 

Featuring songs written by Oscar winner Randy Newman, "Harps and Angels" is described as a "compelling, honest and humorous commentary on what it is like to be born, grow up, fall in love and live and die in America."

The cast also includes Ryder Bach, Storm Large and Matthew Saldivar.

Lenox won a featured-actress Tony Award for "Doubt" in 2005, while McKean starred on Broadway in Tracy Letts' "Superior Donuts" last season. Sagal is perhaps best known for "Married With Children"; currently she appears on the FX series "Sons of Anarchy."

Some of the Newman songs that will be featured in the musical are “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” “Sail Away,” “Marie,” “Louisiana 1927,” “Feels Like Home,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “I Love L.A.”

Performances of "Harps and Angels" begin Nov. 10, with an official opening scheduled for Nov. 21.  The musical, which is the last production of the Taper's current season, is set to close Dec. 22.

McKean isn't a novice when it comes to musicals. In 2004, he took over the role of Edna Turnblad in the Broadway musical "Hairspray." The actor even has experience writing songs, receiving an original-song Oscar nomination in 2004 with his wife, Annette O'Toole, for "A Mighty Wind."

-- David Ng

Photo: Michael McKean. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images for CineVegas

 

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Comments () | Archives (2)

Had the pleasure of working on a project with Mr. McKean whom I found to be one of the most literate, rational and generous people mugging to a lens. With Newman's canon of work and this cast, the show could be huge. Hope it gets picked up, finds a few angels and wends its way east.

Secret word, saw invited rehearsal last eve, show is entertaining and well-produced. Good interesting cast, well-sung, well-acted.

Politics in show, too. Not about tea, Newman isn't their cup. Thank god.


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