Stephanie J. Block and Will Chase to Lead 'Little Miss Sunshine' Cast

Stephanie J. Block and Will Chase
Stephanie J. Block and Will Chase
 Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Stephanie J. Block and Will Chase are the first cast names announced for the upcoming Off Broadway premiere of Little Miss Sunshine, the stage musical adaptation of the hit 2006 Fox Searchlight indie comedy.

The two actors will be reuniting after appearing together this season on Broadway in the Victorian music hall romp, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. That production received a 2013 Tony nomination for best musical revival, as well as for Block as lead actress in a musical and Chase as featured actor.

In a pre-Tonys Q&A with THR this week, awards host Neil Patrick Harris revealed that while its chances are slim to triumph over category frontrunner Pippin, he is quietly rooting for Edwin Drood, one of his favorite musicals of all time. He also confessed that Chase's role of villainous John Jasper is the one he would most like to have played.

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A season one recurring cast member on NBC's Smash, as well as a Broadway veteran of such shows as Rent, High Fidelity, Lennon and Billy Elliot, Chase will appear in Little Miss Sunshine as cash-strapped motivational speaker Richard Hoover, the role played in the movie by Greg Kinnear

Block, who has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, 9 to 5, Anything Goes and The Boy From Oz, among other productions, will step into Toni Collette's shoes as Richard's frazzled wife Sheryl.

Based on the film directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from Michael Arndt's Oscar-winning original screenplay, the show follows the Hoover family on an eventful 800-mile cross-country journey as they attempt to get their daughter Olive to California in time to participate in the beauty pageant that supplies the title.

Written and directed by James Lapine, with music and lyrics by William Finn, Little Miss Sunshine begins previews at Second Stage Theatre on Oct. 15, with opening night to be set for mid-November. Additional casting is to be announced.

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