Alysha Umphress, who tore up the 2014 revival of On the Town as Hildy, the single-minded taxi driver, will co-star as the coffee-pouring waitress Rhetta in Paper Mill Playhouse’s spring production of the 1981 musical Pump Boys and Dinettes.
The Tony-nominated six-character musical about the sisters who run the Double Cupp rest stop diner across a lonely North Carolina highway from a gas station also stars James Barry, Gabe Bowling, Julie Foldesi, Jason Ostrowski and Sam Weber.
The show is scheduled to run April 6-May 1, with an official opening night April 10 at the theatre in Milburn, NJ.
Pump Boys and Dinettes was conceived and written by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann. This revival will be directed by John Foley with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter.
After its Off-Broadway debut in 1981, the show moved to Broadway the following year and garnered Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Musical, running 573 performances. It was followed by full-scale productions in London and Chicago. The show got a recent reading at New York City Center as part of the Encores! Off-Center series.
Alysha Umphress (Rhetta) was also seen in Bring It On!, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and American Idiot. TV credits include Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains and Law and Order: SVU.
Julie Foldesi (Prudie) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where she was last seen in Newsies. On Broadway, Foldesi was seen in Newsies, South Pacific, Little Women and The Full Monty.
James Barry (Jim) was seen on Broadway in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Barry appeared in the national tour of Million Dollar Quartet as Carl Perkins, and Off-Broadway in These Paper Bullets.
Gabe Bowling (Jackson) was seen on tour in Million Dollar Quartet and Off-Broadway in My Big Gay Italian Wedding.
Jason Ostrowski (L.M.) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he was last seen in the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables. Ostrowski was seen on Broadway in Company.
Sam Weber (Eddie) appeared in the national tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.
John Foley (director and music director) has directed and musical-directed Pump Boys and Dinettes several times, in theatres from New England to the Ozarks.
The rest of the creative team includes Michael Schweikardt (scenic design), Brian Hemesath (costume design), F. Mitchell Dana (lighting design), Randy Hansen (sound design), Jodi Mancuso (hair and wig design), Telsey + Company (casting) and Gary Mickelson (production stage management).
Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill box office on the day of the performance.