“Leap of Faith,” a gospel-inspired musical based on a 1992 film starring Steve Martin, opens July 15 at the Croswell Opera House in Adrian.
Featuring a score by Grammy-award winning composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Newsies,” “Aladdin”), the musical opened on Broadway in April 2012.
“Leap of Faith” tells the story of a fast-talking con man named Jonas Nightingale whose bus breaks down in the drought-stricken town of Sweetwater, Kansas. A charismatic faith healer, he usually stays in a town just long enough to fleece its residents before moving on — but this time he crosses paths with the local sheriff, a single mother named Marla McGowan. The result is a love story that eventually leads him to lose his cynicism and rediscover his faith.
“It’s a story about a man’s journey from just swindling people to being redeemed,” said director Michael Yuen. “A man who takes advantage of other people’s faith, but then discovers he has the ability to change and use his gifts for good.”
Jonas Nightingale is played by Dan Clair of Canton, who previously starred in last summer’s production of “Memphis.”
“Dan is a very talented actor,” Yuen said. “He has great instincts and a really great voice. It’s not easy music, and he has a great way of approaching it.”
Marla McGowan is played by Kyrie Bristle of Poultney, Vermont, a former Michigan resident whose recent Croswell credits include “Catch Me If You Can” and “Big Fish.”
Nightingale’s traveling band is led by his sister, Sam, played by Sarah Nowak of Tecumseh, and a woman named Ida Mae Sturdevant, played by Taieshia Tindall of Adrian. Ida Mae’s adult children, Ornella and Isaiah, are played by Tyaira Smith Adamson and Anthony Isom, both of Adrian. The group is rounded out by Olivia Gawron, Emily Hribar, Cameron Kuhn, C.J. Mathis, Payton Perry-Radcliffe, Natasha Ricketts, Hannah Rowe, Xavier Sarabia, Taisha Tindall and Janelle Woods, all of Adrian; Walter Book of Petersburg; Matthew Callis of Onsted; Natasha Ricketts of Tecumseh; and Hailie Hagedorn and Lucy Hagedorn of Oregon, Ohio.
The citizens of Sweetwater include Cooper Adams of Adrian as the sheriff’s disabled son, Jake, along with Madelyn Bowman, Brock Boze, Debbie Corbin, Alex Drews, Noelle Drews, Lauren Howard, Alexandra June, Steven Owsley, Ben Popejoy, Samantha Quigg, Kendra Radcliffe and Hallie Yuen, all of Adrian, and Robert Yoman of Petersburg.
The music director is Dave Rains and the choreographer is Jessica Adams.
“Leap of Faith” runs the weekends of July 15-17 and July 22-24, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $35 and may be ordered online at croswell.org or by calling 517-264-7469.
The Croswell Opera House is at 129 E. Maumee St. in downtown Adrian. Because the front of the building is under construction, parking behind the theater is recommended.