September 20 – October 5, 2019

Book by
Peter Colley

Music & Lyrics by
Robert Creighton & Christopher McGovern

Pre-Broadway Premiere! The musical about Hollywood’s tough guy in tap shoes!

“Showstopping! Pure hallelujah moments!”Variety

Following successful runs Off-Broadway and in Los Angeles, Cagney is preparing an expanded and enhanced production for Salt Lake City, on its way to its Broadway debut.

The award-winning musical follows the life of the legendary James Cagney from the streets of New York to his rise as one of the brightest stars of Hollywood, from a vaudeville song-and-dance man to the cinema’s original tough guy. The multi-talented cast includes Robert Creighton who originated the role in New York that earned him the 2016 Astaire Award. The cast tap dances through a score that blends original music with classic George M. Cohan favorites, including “Give My Regards To Broadway,” “Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Tickets are no longer available for this show.

Important Dates

September 20 – October 5, 2019

7:00 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays Evenings
7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturday Evenings
2:00 p.m. Saturday Matinees




© 2018 www.mattsimpkinsphotography


BILL CASTELLINO (Director) directed these world premieres: Cagney, Soulmates, Great Divorce, Grumpy Old Men, Christmas in Hell, JolsonDr. Radio, Lizzie Borden, Heartbeats, I Spy a SpyPresidents, and more. Castellino has also directed Desperate Measures, Marry Harry, StoryvilleIonescopade, Tarzan, Rent, Gypsy, Rocky HorrorCarousel, Godspell, Music Man, West Side StoryJoseph, Tommy, Little Shop, Evita, Hair, FameChess and others. He has directed, choreographed, written and produced theatre and special events all over the world. Awards: NY Outer Critics, Jefferson, Telly, four LA Weekly, 11 Drama-Logue and numerous nominations including two Lortels, Audelco, Carbonelle, San Diego and LA Theatre Critics, and others.

JOSHUA BERGASSE (Choreographer) Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, On the Town (TONY, Drama Desk, OCC nominations; Astaire Award) and Gigi. Off-Broadway: Sweet Charity (Chita Rivera Award; Lortel Nom), Cagney (Drama Desk, OCC, Astaire Noms; Callaway Finalist), Bomb-itty of Errors; Captain LouieBird…It’s A Plane… It’s Superman!. Carnegie Hall: Candide, Guys and Dolls, The Sound of Music. As Director/Choreographer: I Married an Angel (Encores), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Stage 42 NYC), Hazel (Drury Lane Theatre), West Side Story (North Carolina Theatre). Television: Bergasse won an Emmy Award for his choreography for NBC’s “Smash.” Other television: four episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX), “Sinatra: A Voice for a Century” (PBS), “Jessica Jones” (Netflix), “A Capitol Fourth” (PBS).

JAMES NOONE (Scenic Design) returns after last year’s Grease and has worked for some of NYC’s most prestigious theatre companies including Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company and numerous others. Off-Broadway he designed the original productions of Terrance McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Three Tall Women, the long-running solo shows Full Gallop and Fully Committed, Cowgirls and Breaking Legs, A Bronx Tale, Boys in the Band and the musical Ruthless. Broadway productions include Sunset Boulevard (Revival), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Jekyll and Hyde, Class Act, The Persians, Judgment at Nuremberg, Night Must Fall, The Sunshine Boys, The Gin Gameand Come Back, Little Sheba. He has designed national tours and at leading regional theatres across the country. For television he designed Sweeney Todd, Candide, Passion, Camelot, Stephen Sondheim’s 80th Birthday Concert for PBS and Company, seen in select movie theaters and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill for HBO. Awards include the Drama Desk, American Theatre Wing Design Award, two Helen Hayes Awards (DC), the LA Ovation Award and two NAACP Theatre Design Awards.

GREGORY GALE (Costume Design) is a two-time Tony Award-nominated designer for Rock of Ages and Cyrano de Bergerac, which can be seen on Amazon. Other Broadway productions include: Arcadia, The Wedding Singer (Drama Desk nomination), Urinetown (Lucille Lortel nomination), and Band in Berlin. This is his sixth production at PTC, having designed The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, Cowgirls, The Last Ship, and last season’s Once. Off-Broadway he designed the costumes for the world premieres of To Wong Foo, Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure and Fairycakes. His opera productions include world premieres of The Prince of Players by Carlisle Floyd for Houston Grand Opera and An American Soldier by Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang for Opera Theater of St. Louis. Gale designed two films that will be released in 2019: The Mental State and Real Drag. Upcoming projects: Blinded by Ed (feature film); El Milagro del Recuerdo (World Premiere at Houston Grand Opera); and pre-Broadway world premiere of Fat Kid Saves the World.

PAUL MILLER (Lighting Design) Previously at PTC: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Mamma Mia!, In the Heights, Much Ado About Nothing, A Few Good Men, I Hate Hamlet, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Broadway: Amazing Grace, The Illusionists, Legally Blonde, Freshly Squeezed and Laughing Room Only. Off-Broadway: Desperate Measures, Clinton the Musical, Pageant, Vanities, A New Musical, Waiting for Godot, Addicted, Nunsense, Balancing Act and 10 productions for New York City Center Encores!. National Tours include: The Illusionists, Elf-The Musical, Shrek, Legally Blonde, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber from Fleet Street, Hairspray, The Producers and The Sound of Music. Television: Live from Lincoln Center, Netflix and Comedy Central specials, and New Year’s Eve from Times Square for the last 18 years. Internationally: The Stratford Festival, London’s West End, Vienna, Milan (Teatro alla Scala), Brazil, The Philippines, South Africa and China.

BRAD PETERSON (Projection Design) is pleased to make his debut at Pioneer Theatre Company. Broadway: Cats (2016 Revival), Fish in the Dark. Associate designer: An American in Paris (Broadway/National Tour), Oslo (Broadway), Hedwig… (National Tour), Little Dancer (Kennedy Center), First Date (Broadway). Off-Broadway: If I Forget (Roundabout Theater Co.), Soul Doctor, The Eternal Space (Theater Row), The Awake (59E59). Regional: Bring It! Live (National Tour, A&E Networks); The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; A Little Night Music; Carousel (Stratford Festival, Canada); Empire (McCoy Rigby); Encounter (Beijing, China); On the Town and 9 to 5 (Sacramento Music Circus); The Wiz and Frost/Nixon (Maltz-Jupiter), Jesus Christ Superstar (Casa Ma’ana); The Tempest (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); On The Town (Merry-Go-Round). Proud member of United Scenic Artists USA-829, graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

ALLAN BRANSON (Sound Design) is thrilled to be a part of Pioneer Theatre Company. He previously worked at The Arkansas Repertory Theatre as their resident sound designer for six seasons, where he designed such shows as Because of Winn-Dixie (world premiere), The Bridges of Madison County (regional premiere) and Memphis (regional premiere). Branson is a proud member of The Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association.

AMANDA FRENCH (Hair and Makeup Design) is happy to be returning to Pioneer Theatre Company where she has styled and designed over 120 productions in the last 17 years. French has been a wig master and hair and makeup designer for 30 years. She has worked for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Utah Opera, the Egyptian Theatre Company in Austin, Texas and The University of Texas at Austin. French also spent 17 years as hair and makeup designer, and Adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre. She is a contributing writer in the ninth and tenth editions of Stage Makeup, by Corson, Glavan and Norcross. Amanda attended the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

DOUG OBERHAMER (Dance Arrangements & Musical Direction)’s credits include: Swing!Thoroughly Modern Millie, Saturday Night FeverWe Will Rock You, Rocky, Crazy For You, Man of La Mancha, Errol and Fidel, FrankensteinNunsense, What Do Critics Know?, Dracula, Reel to Real, My Vaudeville Man, Wanda’s WorldFlight of the Lawnchair Man, I Got Fired, Women on the Verge, Seeing Stars, Rings and GeminiBest Orchestration Bistro Award winner for Little Death and Best Orchestration winner for Errol and Fidel at the New York Musical Festival. His album, “The Oberhamer Brothers: Together Again,” is currently on the charts and on SiriusXM. Love to his wife Christine and daughters, Scarlett and Natalie, for their love and support.

GREG ANTHONY RASSEN (Orchestrations) Drama Desk winner and Tony nominee for Bandstand. Other Broadway credits include: An American In Paris, Bullets Over Broadway, Little Mermaid, The Book of Mormon, R&H’s Cinderella, A Chorus Line (Revival). Arranger/orchestrator: Jerry Springer: The Opera (New Group), Between the Lines (Kansas City Rep.), Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard), Walk on the Moon (ACT in San Francisco). Commissions include: New York Pops, Boston Pops, Philly Pops, Indianapolis Pops; Renée Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom, Jr., Ashley Brown, Sierra Boggess, Jeremy Jordan, Norm Lewis, Darren Criss,  Liz Callaway, Julia Murney, André Previn, John Williams. TV: “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The View,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” MM degree from Cincinnati Conservatory of

PETER COLLEY (Book) has plays produced in 32 countries, 48 of the 50 states in the US and has been translated into 11 languages. I’ll Be Back Before Midnight (“the most produced Canadian play ever” – Globe & Mail); The Donnellys (National Arts Centre / Grand Theatre). Film: Two plays made into feature films; TV: CBS, Fox, CBC Canada, British ITV. Awards: nominated for Humanitas Prize, Outer Critics, Off-Broadway Alliance; Eugene O’Neill Award (semi-finalist), winner of the New American Play Award (TCG Edgerton Foundation), Carbonell Award (“Best New Work”), Canada Council, New Zealand NAPTA Award. Published by Samuel French Inc., (New York and London), Baker’s Plays, Macmillans and Simon & Pierre.

ROBERT CREIGHTON (Composer) This musical was an idea that was conceived by Robert during his years studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts many years ago. He is most grateful to his collaborators Peter Colley, Christopher McGovern and Bill Castellino for leading the way in the creation of this piece, and to his friend Chuck Tatham for his recent valuable input as we head to Broadway with this story! Gratitude also to The York Theatre Company for the New York Debut of Cagney in 2015 and to the Westside Theatre where Cagney ran for a remarkable 502 performances. Extreme gratitude to lead producer Riki Kane Larimer and producer Kate Edelman Johnson for their undying support on all fronts. The off-Broadway cast album containing the music composed by Creighton, McGovern and Cohan is available anywhere you get your music.

GEORGE M. COHAN (Composer) Composer, librettist, actor, dancer, dramatist, author, director and producer born in Providence, Rhode Island. He began in vaudeville as a child in his family’s act, The Four Cohans, and was writing for the act by the age of 15. As an actor he is remembered in such roles as the father in O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!, and as a writer of such songs as “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” which featured in his musical Little Johnny Jones (1904) and which gave the title of the film made of his life.

CHRISTOPHER McGOVERN (Music and Lyrics/Arrangements) Writing credits: music & lyrics for “Once Upon A Time” (current), “Let the Memories Begin” (Disney Worldwide/Castle projection shows), music & libretto for Lizzie Borden (Goodspeed Musicals), Crash Club, RoswellDr. Radio, Backwards In High Heels (many regional productions), Holiday For Hope (Bushnell Theatre). CD Production/Original Songs: Tony nominees Rebecca Luker (“Leaving Home”), Susan Egan (“Coffee House,” “Winter Tracks” and “Live”), and Alison Fraser (“Men in My Life”). Inter/National: The Presidents w/Rich Little (PBS & tour), The Lion King (Disney/Hong Kong), Aladdin and composer/lyricist for Mickey’s Dream Company (Tokyo/Disney). Concerts: Tony-nominees Susan Egan (incl. Carnegie Hall), Alison Fraser, annual PFF Concert “Broadway Belts” for Julie Halston and many others. Music Direction: NY/Off-Broadway: Love Linda (Richard Maltby, Jr., Dir.), Dear World (w/Tyne Daly), Marry Harry (NYMF/Signature Theatre, dir. by Kent Nicholson), Times Square Angel (w/Charles Busch), Sheldon Harnick’s Tenderloin (w/Max Von Essen), Ionescopade, Two By Two (with Jason Alexander & Tovah Feldshuh), Still Getting My Act Together (Cryer & Ford), That’s Life (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Jazz Singer, Sheba, Identical Twins, Breathe. Regional: {title of show} (MD/Larry), Next to Normal, Hair, The Pajama Game, Jolson at the Winter Garden (LA Premiere), The Last Five Years, The Spitfire GrillDream a Little Dream, Some Kind Of Wonderful (Silver Palm Award), Beehive, Joseph, World Goes ‘Round, Little Shop, Tommy, Godspell. Faculty at NYCDA and AADA.


Notes on the Play

Director Notes by Bill Castellino

It was not a dark and stormy night, it was a dark and stormy, soaked-to-the-bone mid-morning.

We—Bobby [Creighton], Peter [Colley], Chris [McGovern] and I—had an outline and an empty white board. I picked up a dry marker and asked, “What is this play about?” Pause. Discussion. I wrote on the board: Self-identity v. public-identity.  We spent a rainy week digging into James Cagney’s past, union organizers, last century New York, politics, corny jokes, idol makers, movie stars, the studio system, tap shoes, gangsters, facts, guesses and George M. Cohan.

Provocative… especially when talking about a humble vaudevillian (who shoulda been a boxer) turned world-renowned Oscar winner. Attending this brainstorm (it was raining outside): a gifted actor obsessed with an ambitious idea, an experienced playwright committed to thorough research, a theatre composer devoted to solid structure and true rhymes, and a director/dramaturg specialized in new musicals.

Location? Palm Beach where Lou Tyrell asked us to be part of the 2009 Florida Stage Season. Cagney played to sold out houses and won the Carbonelle Award for Best New Work. Rewrite. On to Drayton (a circuit of seasonal theatres outside of Toronto). New dances (Josh).  Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida (2010). With each opportunity, we rethought, reimagined, restaged, rewrote, rewrote, rewrote.

I asked Jim Morgan to have a look: Cagney premiered off-Broadway (2015) at the York Theatre. Rewrite. Riki Kane Larimer moved us across town to the West Side Theater (2016); there, we played for 15 months. In 2017: four weeks in Los Angeles (half a mile from Warner Brothers Studios).

For a decade, the audience appreciated, applauded, and awarded our efforts.

Then we dared to consider our idea worthy of the Broadway stage.

Karen Azenberg invited us to Pioneer Theatre Company to explore that notion… our lucky day! Here, we double our cast (from six to twelve), grow our physical production (to suit this formidable stage), and continue to refine (more rewrites!) our uniquely American story of an underdog, patriot, singing-and-dancing, tough guy.

There is no way to measure my gratitude for the many miracles that bring Cagney to Salt Lake City. From rain-soaked Florida to dry-mountained Utah, I heartily exclaim thanks to all our miracle workers!

Spotlight for Learning


Content Advisory


SYNPOSIS: Cagney is an American rags-to-riches story about a young man who skillfully tap dances his way from the Lower East Side to the silver screen. The award-winning musical follows the life of the legendary James Cagney from the streets of New York to his rise as one of the brightest stars of Hollywood, from a vaudeville song-and-dance man to the cinema’s original tough guy.

LANGUAGE: There is no harsh language but some exclamatory oaths are used.

The language includes several uses of the word “hell,” describing a place, as well as a few uses of “damn.” “God” is uttered twice but not in an irreverent fashion.

SMOKING/DRINKING/DRUG USE: None to speak of. There is a little discussion of smoking and drinking but none is depicted on stage. A Hollywood character wears a costume that includes a long cigarette holder.

SEX: None.

VIOLENCE: None that is real. There are a few instances rehearsing movie scenes that depict a punch, and several that include handling and shooting a gun, but it is implied stage violence.

FOR WHICH AUDIENCES? Cagney is suitable for all audiences, including children aged 10 and older. Younger children might be bored by it.

RATING: If it were a movie, Cagney would have a “PG” rating.


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