Starlight Express the Musical Wiki
Advertisement

An abridged production of Starlight Express played at The Hilton Theatre at the Las Vegas Hilton (now known as the Westgate Las Vegas) from 14 September 1993 to 30 November 1997. The production was contracted to run for 5 years, but ended early when the hotel changed owners.

Starlight Express was the first permanent production of a legitimate musical theatre show in Las Vegas's history.

Press_Reel_-_Las_Vegas_1990s

Press Reel - Las Vegas 1990s

Creative Team

  • Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Lyrics by Richard Stilgoe
  • Scenic and Costume Designer John Napier
  • Associate Scenic Designer Ray Huessy
  • Sound Designer Graham Carmichael
  • Lighting Design and Special Effects by Rick Belzer
  • Automated Lighting Design by Aland Henderson
  • Conventional Lighting Design by Douglas Cox
  • Musical Director Jan Rosenberg
  • Orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Conductor Wayne Green
  • Laser Designs by Floyd Rollefstad
  • Film Design by Kevin Biles Design
  • Pyrotechnics developed by John Bordeaux
  • Production Audio Supervisor Michael Cusick
  • Technical Supervisor William M. Mensching
  • Production Consultant Clayton Phillips
  • Stunt Coordinator Todd Lester
  • Model Trains Developed by Paul Wolfram and John Graves
  • Wig and Hair Designs by Bernie Ardia
  • Company Manager Tony McLean
  • Production Stage Manager Seth C. Wenig
  • Resident Artistic Supervisor Preston Simpson
  • Skate Supervisor Michal Fraley
  • Assistant Director/Choreographer James Walski
  • Assistant Choreographer VOYD
  • Directed and Choreographed by Arlene Phillips
  • Presented by The Troika Organization and The Las Vegas Hilton in association with Starlight Vegas Company, inc.
  • Produced by Nicholas Howey, Kenneth H. Gentry and Dallett Norris

Production Specifics

Originally conceived as a six-month 'sit-down' production using the set from the first US tour, Starlight Express in Las Vegas grew into a bigger budget production locked into a five-year contract.

In an attempt to compete with headliner stars, dancing girls in casino shows, and the first "Cirque du Soleil" productions, Starlight Express in Las Vegas would be a shorter, more spectacular version of the show. Several songs were trimmed or cut, and the interval was removed, bringing the running time down to 90 minutes. Stunt routines were added, the audience were invited to 'place their bets' for each race, and the coaches were given a controversial "showgirl" makeover. A few lines were also inserted to place the story on Christmas Eve, with Control's mother telling him that, now that his 'stocking is hung up', it's time to sleep, ahead of the 'big day'.

Caboose returns

The material largely followed the 'New' Starlight revisions unveiled in 1992, with one change reversed. The production would recycle race footage shot for the first US tour. This created a problem, as Caboose featured in the footage, despite having been removed from the London production. Andrew Lloyd Webber acquiesced and Caboose was reinstated, albeit in a reduced role[1].

Musical Numbers

Musical Numbers Featured Characters
Entry of the National Engines Bobo, Espresso, Ruhrgold, Turnov, Nintendo, Prince of Wales, Greaseball, Gang
Rolling Stock Greaseball, Greaseball's Gang
Taunting Rusty Rusty, Greaseball, National Engines
Call Me Rusty Rusty, Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
A Lotta Locomotion Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
He'll Whistle At Me Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Freight Rusty, Rockies 1,2,3, Dustin, Flat-Top, Red Caboose, Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy, National Engines
AC/DC Electra, Krupp, Wrench, Joule, Volta, Purse, Ensemble
Pumping Iron Greaseball, Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy, Components
Coda Freight Ensemble
Crazy Rusty, Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Pearl, You've Been Honoured Purse, Pearl, Rusty
Make Up My Heart Pearl
Race One: New York to Chicago Greaseball & Dinah
Turnov & Caboose
Ruhrgold & Joule
Electra & Pearl
Poppa's Blues Poppa, Rusty, Rockies 1,2,3, Flat-Top, Dustin
Rusty Why You Looking Sad Rusty, Poppa, Freight
Race Two: Chicago to Denver Bobo & Buffy
Nintendo & Volta
Espresso & Ashley
Poppa & Dustin
Laughing Stock The Company
Starlight Express Rusty
The Rap The Company
Pearl Twirl Pearl, Greaseball, Dinah
U.N.C.O.U.P.L.E.D. Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Dinah, You're Honoured Purse, Dinah
Wide Smile Greaseball, Caboose, Electra, Components
Trans-America Final: Denver to Los Angeles Greaseball & Pearl
Electra & Dinah
Nintendo & Volta
Rusty & Caboose
I Was Robbed Pearl, Greaseball, Gang
I am The Starlight Rusty, Starlight Express
Rusty and Dustin Rusty, Dustin
Dinahs Disco Dinah, Electra, Caboose
Re-run: Phoenix to Los Angeles Greaseball & Pearl
Electra & Caboose
Rusty & Dustin
One Rock & Roll Too Many Greaseball, Electra, Caboose
Next Time You Fall In Love Pearl, Rusty
Rusty King of the Track Greaseball, Dinah, Ensemble
Light at the End of the Tunnel The Company
Starlight Megamix The Company

The coaches' "Rusty, Can't be serious" was replaced by a snappy four lines of dialogue:

Hey, listen to the one man band
Rusty, you don't understand!
You'll be nowhere, you'll be last
You ain't going nowhere fast!

"A Lotta Locomotion" was trimmed to two verses, the first giving one line to each coach, and the second being Pearl's full introduction. This was followed by Pearl's solo "He'll Whistle at Me".

"Coda Freight" and "Hitching and Switching" were reduced to a couple of lines of dialoge and Control explaining the rules. "Crazy" and "Make Up My Heart" appear in full.

The Races are staged as location based, eg. "New York to Chicago", "Chicago to Denver" . Control announced "Place Your Bets" - with each engine announcing themselves with reference to the odds, the best bet etc. However, Control mixes his concepts, as while the re-run is staged "Phoenix to Los Angeles", he also decides to use "the Downhill course".

The lack of interval was covered by the Rockies ending Rusty's soliloquy "Starlight Express" with "The Rap", with "Hey Rusty, what's up? C'mon Rusty, get tough."

"Wide Smile, High Style", cut from the "New Starlight Express", ran with the introduction where Caboose reveals his plans to Greaseball, then Electra, but without the actual song, keeping just enough dialogue to support the plot. This same edit was used in later tours.

After the third race, the scene "I Was Robbed" was shortened to Pearl discovering the plot against Rusty, and the Gang beating up Rusty further - Rusty and Caboose's lines were cut. The Rockies, having already interrupted Rusty earlier with "The Rap", do not return for "Right Place, Right Time".

Set Design

The production recycled some elements of the first US tour, including the race sequences filmed for that production, and a piece of the set – the starting gate/"bridge". Due to the filmed races, the set was not required to have full race tracks, however it was expansive with loops into the stalls and multiple levels of tracks.

Gallery

Photo gallery.png

Casts

Role Cast Role Cast
September 1993-94 Cast
Rusty Steven Michael Skeels Pearl Reva Rice
Poppa Jimmy Lockett Dinah Dawn Marie Church
Greaseball Rod Weber Ashley Meera Popkin
Electra Anthony T. Perry Buffy Edyie Fleming
Rocky 1 Michael Carl King Flat-top Andrew A. Currie
Rocky 2 David Enriquez Dustin Matthew D. Burns
Rocky 3 Jim Harrison Caboose T. Robert Pigott
Krupp Nelson Yee Bobo Victor L. Butler
Wrench Natasha Rannalls Espresso C.C. Brown
Purse Marvin Engran Ruhrgold Danny Metcalfe
Joule Jennifer Bizik Turnov Jacob Brent
Volta Anne M. Tiger Nintendo Bob Lee Dysinger
Marshal/Gang Todd Lester Prince of Wales Steven Kent Dry
Swing Amanda Clarke Swing Madeleine Ehlert
Swing Elizabeth Holum Swing Susan Lamontagne
Swing Scott Bolt Swing Eddie Marco
Swing Scott Carlyle Swing Matthew V. Daugherty
Swing Paul Finoccharo Swing Kevyn Haile
Swing Chris Lamontagne Swing Larry Munsey
Role Cast Role Cast
1994-95 Cast
Rusty Freddie T [2] Pearl Reva Rice
Poppa Jimmy Lockett Dinah Dawn Marie Church
Greaseball Rod Weber Ashley Jennifer Bizik
Electra Anthony T. Perry Buffy Amanda Clarke
Rocky 1 Michael Carl King Flat-top Paul Finoccharo
Rocky 2 Tony Cordell Dustin Tom Gamblin
Rocky 3 Leo Alvarez Caboose Chris Castillo
Krupp Nelson Yee Bobo Buddy Casimano
Wrench Nicole Discola Espresso Eric Jordan Young
Purse Terence Yancey Ruhrgold Freddy Moretine
Joule Natasha Rannalls Turnov Steven Kent Dry
Volta Kelly Love Nintendo Robert Dean
Flying Marshal 1 Todd Lester Prince of Wales Mark Moschello
Flying Marshal 2 Brad Anderson
Swing Stefanie Morse Swing Rachelle Rak
Swing Anne M. Tiger
Swing Gary Albers Swing Leigh Bucknam
Swing Matthew D. Burns Swing Scott Carlyle
Swing Matthew Daugherty Swing Garland Days
Swing Bob Lee Dysinger Swing Marvin Engran
Swing Kevyn Haile Swing Allen Lev
Swing Bobby Love Swing Christopher Strauss
Swing Gregory Vander Ploeg
Role Cast Role Cast
1995-96 Cast
Rusty Greg Ellis [3] Pearl Reva Rice
Poppa Lothair Eaton Dinah Dawn Marie Church
Greaseball Ron DeVito Ashley Amanda Clarke
Electra Anthony T. Perry Buffy Jennifer Bizik
Rocky 1 Tony Cordell Flat-top Todd Lester
Rocky 2 Troy V McLaughlin Dustin Tom Gamblin
Rocky 3 Randy Donaldson Caboose Paul Finoccharo
Krupp Buddy Casimano Bobo Leigh Bucknam
Wrench Angel Bates Espresso Terence Yancey
Purse Reginald H Jennings Ruhrgold Freddy Moretine
Joule Brigitte Blackhurst Turnov Greg LoBuono
Volta Paula Carlyle Nintendo Richard D Barber
Flying Marshal 1 Christopher Strauss Prince of Wales Mark Moschello
Flying Marshal 2 Gregory Feller
Swing Gary Albers Swing Matthew D. Burns
Swing Scott Carlyle Swing Matthew Daugherty
Swing Steven Kent Dry Swing Bob Lee Dysinger
Swing Marvin Engran Swing Allen Lev
Swing Kelly Love Swing Joe Machota
Swing Louanne Madorma Swing Janien Nola
Swing Rachelle Rak Swing James Russell
Swing Gregory Vander Ploeg Swing
Role Cast Role Cast
September 1996-97 Cast
Rusty Ernest Marchain Pearl Dawn Marie Church
Poppa Lothair Eaton Dinah Jennifer Bizik
Greaseball Rod Weber Ashley Amanda Clarke
Electra Eric Clausell Buffy Brigitte Snowden
Rocky 1 Troy V McLaughlin Flat-top Todd Lester
Rocky 2 Allen Lev Dustin Tony Tripoli
Rocky 3 Angelo Rivera Caboose Ken Romero
Krupp Chris Galen Bobo Leigh Bucknam
Wrench Sheri Kush Espresso Ron McKay
Purse Reginald H Jennings Ruhrgold Scott Carlyle
Joule Raquel Baldwin Turnov Tony Cordell
Volta Paula Carlyle Nintendo Juan Cantu
Prince of Wales Sheldon Craig
Swing Beverley Braybon Swing Angel Creeks
Swing Kelly Love Swing Louanne Madorma
Swing Gary Albers Swing Matthew D. Burns
Swing Steven Kent Dry Swing Andy Karl
Swing Mark C Kraushaar Swing Freddy Moretine
Swing Mark Moschello Swing Alex C Oteyza
Swing RT Smith Swing Gregory Vander Ploeg
Role Cast Role Cast
September - November 1997 Cast
Rusty Ernest Marchain Pearl Dawn Marie Church
Poppa Lothair Eaton Dinah Kelly Love
Greaseball Rod Weber Ashley Angel Creeks
Electra Reginald H Jennings Buffy Jill Marie Petersson
Rocky 1 Troy V McLaughlin Flat-top Todd Lester
Rocky 2 Allen Lev Dustin Michael Petersson
Rocky 3 Angelo Rivera Caboose Ken Romero
Krupp Chris Galen Bobo Leigh Bucknam
Wrench Sheri Kush Espresso Tony Cordell
Purse RT Smith Ruhrgold Scott Carlyle
Joule Gary Albers Turnov Ron McKay
Volta Paula Carlyle Nintendo Richard D Barber
Prince of Wales Tony Torres
Swing Jennifer Bizik Swing Beverley Braybon
Swing Louanne Madorma
Swing Scott Bolt Swing Steven Cates
Swing Matthew Daugherty Swing Steven Kent Dry
Swing Andy Karl Swing Mark C Kraushaar
Swing Freddy Moretine Swing Mark Moschello
Swing Alex C Oteyza Swing James Russell
Swing Nelson Yee

References

  1. Fraley, Michal: Skating the Starlight Express (2011), ISBN: 978-1-4583-7432-5
  2. Variety Review - Website
  3. 1996 Press Release - Fan Archive
Advertisement