Back in 2016 I fell in love with the adorable and winning Benny & Joon, book by Kirsten Guenther (Little Miss Fix-it), music by Nolan Gasser (Pandora) and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein (Little Women on Broadway).
Hannah Elless is a Michigan-native best known for her portrayal of Margo Crawford in the Broadway musical Bright Star, a role she originated in productions of the play at both the Old Globe and Kennedy Center. She made her Broadway debut in a show called Godspell. Elles has worked on her own album as a singer and songwriter. She is a multi-instrumentalist as well who can play the mandolin, ukulele, accordion, dulcimer, piano, harmonica, drums, guitar, banjo and autoharp.
Benny & Joon is based on the MGM movie Benny (Claybourne Elder) has taken care of his psychologically troubled sister Joon (Hannah Elless) since their parents died over a decade ago. Benny now in his early 30s, and Joon in her early 20s, but, ten years on, not much has changed. A mechanic with his own garage, Benny feels he is a master at managing the life they’ve ended up with. But when they take in a strange young man named Sam (Bryce Pinkham), who is like a modern Buster Keaton, everything changes.
Jack Cummings III directs. The cast also includes Conor Ryan (Sam at certain performances), Belinda Allyn, Colin Hanlon, Tatiana Wechsler, Paulo Montalban, Jacob Keith Watson and Natalie Toro.
Benny and Joon starts previews April 4th and opens April 14th at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Milburn NJ