The Story of Harold & Lillian
The musical follows the Hollywood romance of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson. Beginning with their elopement after Harold came home from World War II, their marriage spanned six decades—during which they overcame daunting personal challenges and made surprising movie magic. Harold was the storyboard artist for such classic movies as The Ten Commandments, West Side Story and The Graduate. Lillian conducted research for numerous films including The Birds and Fiddler on the Roof. Harold passed away in 2007, but in 2017, the Michelsons received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Dramatic Arts—the first behind-the-scenes, non-actors to have been given the honor. Lillian will celebrate her 93rd birthday on June 21, 2021—the day that SCR’s concert-reading of Harold & Lillian is released. She still resides in Los Angeles.
Actors Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole lead a cast of six to tell the true-life, six-decade Hollywood love story that is the Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF) concert-reading of Harold & Lillian. This new musical by Dan Collins (book and lyrics) and Julianne Wick Davis (music) is based on the popular documentary film by Daniel Raim—and it streams June 21-27.
Get to know the cast as you continue reading.
Michael McKean (Harold)
has had a distinguished career in theatre, television and film. His Broadway credits include The Little Foxes, All the Way, The Bandwagon, The Best Man, Superior Donuts, The Homecoming, The Pajama Game, Hairspray and Accomplice. His off-Broadway credits include The True, The Exonerated, King Lear and Our Town. His other theatre credits include Father Comes Home From the Wars and Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels (both at Taper Forum, Los Angeles), Superior Donuts (Steppenwolf Theatre) and On the Razzle (Williamstown Theatre Festival). His films include Used Cars, This is Spinal Tap, Clue, D.A.R.Y.L, Light of Day, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. His television credits include “Laverne & Shirley,” “Dream On,” “Better Call Saul” (Emmy Award nomination) and “Good Omens.”
Annette O'Toole (Lillian)
is making her SCR debut. Her New York and regional theatre work include A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Show-Off (Theatre at St. Clement’s), The Traveling Lady (Cherry Lane Theatre), Man from Nebraska (Second Stage Theatre), Southern Comfort (The Public Theater) for which she received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and Drama Desk and Drama League nominations, Hamlet in Bed (Rattlestick Theatre, Edinburgh Festival), The Good Book (Berkeley Repertory), Magnolia (Goodman Theatre), Third (Two River Theatre), Heresy (Flea Theatre), The Quality of Life (Arena Stage), Kindness (Playwrights Horizons) and The Seagull (Classic Stage Company). Her film and television performances include Blow the Man Down, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Women Who Kill, 48 Hours, Superman III, Cat People, One on One, “Virgin River,” “Kidding,” “The Good Doctor,” “The Punisher,” “Search Party,”“11.22.63,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Smallville” and “The Kennedys of Massachusetts,” for which she received Emmy and Golden Globe award nominations.
Karole Foreman (The Matron, Others)
has been in the PPF readings of Prelude to a Kiss, the Musical and Intimate Apparel. Her theatre credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Ovation Award, Ebony Repertory Theatre and International City Theatre), A Little Night Music (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination), Stupid Fucking Bird (Cygnet Theatre); Haunted House Party (Getty Villa); Porgy & Bess, Sweeney Todd, Intimate Apparel (Ensemble Theatre Company); Fences (NAACP Image Award nomination, PCPA and International City Theatre); Wedding Band (Stage Raw Award nomination, Antaeus Theatre Company); Next to Normal (OC Weekly Theatre Award, California Repertory Company); Difficulty of Crossing a Field and Queenie Pie (Long Beach Opera); Caroline or Change (PCPA); Parade, Jelly’s Last Jam (Suzi Bass Award, Mark Taper Forum, Alliance Theatre, Atlanta); and Mamma Mia! (Las Vegas). Foreman worked with the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and numerous regional theatres across the country. Her television credits include “Monster,” “Good Trouble,” “NCIS,” “Brooklyn 99,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Rebel,” “GLOW,” “Kingdom,” “Training Day,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Stitchers,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Adam Ruins Everything,” “Switched at Birth,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Murder in the First,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Bones,” “Medium,” “Law & Order” and “Bold and the Beautiful.” Her film credits include The Banality, I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas, 42, Rebirth and Buddy Solitaire.
Roland Rusinek (Mr. Wesley, Others)
was last seen at SCR as Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2019). His film and TV appearances include Figaro in “Coop And Cami Ask The World,” streaming on Disney+, Jack Lapidus in The Producers streaming on Peacock. Frank in the first BearCity on Amazon Prime and as Caesar in the upcoming short film, Who Guardeth the Guards. His New York theatre credits include Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera (Majestic Theatre, Broadway); Fezziwig and others in A Christmas Carol (Madison Square Garden); Beadle in Sweeney Todd and Ciccio in The Most Happy Fella (NYC Opera); Jerry Springer: The Opera, in concert. (Carnegie Hall); Kismet (Encores!, New York City Center) to name a few.
Jacques C. Smith (Lt. McGowen, Others)
was performing as Mafala in the national tour of The Book of Mormon when the pandemic halted all theatrical performances. He has performed on Broadway and internationally in RENT, as well as in the national tour of If/Then. Regionally, he has performed at The Old Globe, Ebony Repertory Theatre (Ovation Award), Pasadena Playhouse (NAACP nomination), Theatre Under The Stars, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Goodman Theater (Black Theater Alliance Award, Joseph Jefferson nomination), Paper Mill Playhouse and many others. His television credits include “Marlon,” “Eagleheart,” “General Hospital,” “OZ” (HBO, series regular), “CSI:Miami,” Issa Rae’s “The Choir,” “American Masters” and “Law & Order,” among others.
Jennifer Leigh Warren (Leila, Others)
is a critically acclaimed actress/singer lauded for her show-stopping Broadway performances as the original Alice’s Daughter in Big River (“How Blest We Are” was written for her by Roger Miller), the original Crystal in the Howard Ashman/Alan Menken hit Little Shop of Horrors, the original Lincoln Center cast of Marie Christine and the original Muse in the Drama Desk Award-nominated Lonesome Traveler. In RENT: Live on FOX TV, she showcased her acting versatility as Mrs. Jefferson, Mrs. Cohen, Support Sue and the infamous homeless bag lady. She starred as “The Blues Singer” in all four national tours of A Night with Janis Joplin (USA, Canada; now streaming on BroadwayHD.com) and performed her Diamonds Are Forever: The Songs of Shirley Bassey concert at the Renberg Theatre in Los Angeles. On “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” she performed with Broken Bells, The Kills, Trombone Shorty, Moon Taxi, Lisa Loeb and OK Go.
Learn more about the concert-reading of Harold & Lillian and purchase tickets.