The Mainstage theater season of Western Carolina University’s School of Stage and Screen opens Thursday, Oct. 1, with the college campus premiere of the new high-energy musical comedy-mystery “Pop! Who Shot Andy Warhol?”
Performances are scheduled at WCU’s Hoey Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 through Saturday, Oct. 3, with a special 3 p.m. matinee on Oct. 3.
With book and lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman and music by Anna K. Jacobs, “Pop!” takes the audience back to June 3, 1968, when pop artist and cultural icon Andy Warhol was shot in his Manhattan studio, a place known as the “Silver Factory.” The musical explores Warhol’s relationships with his posse of “Superstars” – historical figures such as socialite Edie Sedgwick and ultra-feminist Valerie Solanas.
The actors portray Warhol’s Superstars, as well as a host of other roles ranging from life-sized dolls to expressionist painters. Every character in the production is a suspect in the shooting – even Warhol. The show’s popular music and outrageous lyrics are punctuated by the sound of a gun.
Michael Gallagher, a senior acting major from Morrisville, will portray Warhol. Other cast members, all musical theatre majors, are Alex Drost, a senior from Blairsville, Georgia, as Candy Darling; Kylee Verhoff, a junior from Jacksonville, as Edie Sedgwick; Samantha Alicandri, a senior from Weehawken, New Jersey, as Viva; Iliana Garcia, a junior from Newnan, Georgia, as Valerie Solanas; Logan Marks, a junior from Mansfield, Massachusetts, as Gerard Malanga; and Benjamin Sears, a sophomore from Waynesville, as Ondine.
“Pop!” is directed by Claire Eye, and music director is Katya Stanislavskaya. Others contributing to the production are John Scacchetti, choreography; Dustin Whitehead, fight choreography; Andrew Mannion, set design; and Susan Brown-Strauss, costume design.
The show includes adult language and content and is not suitable for young audiences.
Tickets are $21 for adults; $16 for senior citizens and WCU faculty and staff; and $10 on the day of the show ($7 in advance) for students. Tickets are available by contacting the box office of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 828-227-2479 or online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.