Yamaha Gear on Set for Whistle Down the Wind's First U.S. Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 13, 2007) — Three Yamaha Motif XS8 music production synthesizer workstations and a CP300 stage piano will be on board when the traveling edition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Whistle Down the Wind hits the road for its first-ever U.S. tour. Directed and produced by Bill Kenwright, the show debuted in Houston Sept. 9 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2007-2008 Theatre Under The Stars season and then continues on to major cities across America.

"We are thrilled to be able to provide Whistle Down the Wind with gear for its first U.S. tour," comments Chris Gero, vice president of Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs, Inc. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a master of musical theater, and we wish this show an equally successful run here as it had in England."

Based on the much loved film, Webber and Jim Steinman's show is an extraordinary and uplifting tale about the transforming power of love, proving that goodness can be found in the strangest of places, and it comes direct from a recording-breaking West End engagement and United Kingdom sell-out tour.

Set in 1959 Louisiana, Whistle tells the story of three children – 15-year old Swallow, sister Bluejay (known as Brat) and younger brother Robin (known as Poor Baby) – as they approach their first Christmas since the death of their mother. Difficulties arise when Swallow, played by Andrea Ross, discovers a mysterious man (Eric Kunze) hiding out in a barn. When she asks who he is, the first words he utters are "Jesus Christ," and it's as if all her prayers have been answered. Swallow and the town's other children vow to protect the stranger from the world that waits outside – the townspeople who are determined to catch a fugitive hiding it their midst.

Whistle Down The Wind's multi-award-winning songs and powerful staging combine epic storytelling with intimate emotion as the innocence of children collides with the cynicism of adults. The American premiere partners top rock lyricist Steinman (Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler) and award-winning composer Webber (Cats, Phantom of the Opera) to create a score indigenous to the sounds of the Deep South – blues, gospel, country and rock 'n roll.

Director and producer Kenwright heads the United Kingdom's largest independent theater and film production company. He has produced countless shows and as a director his credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Blood Brothers. He was nominated for a London Theatre Critics' award for West Side Story and a Tony award for Blood Brothers in New York.

Whistle Down the Wind features costume and set design by Paul Farnsworth, choreography by Henry Metcalfe, musical direction by David Steadman, lighting design by Nick Richings and sound design by Ben Harrison. A partial list of the tour cities and dates are as follows:

September 9 - 22, 2007
Theatre Under The Stars
Hobby Center

September 25-30, 2007
The Bushnell Center for The Performing Arts

October 9 - 21, 2007
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

October 30 – November 11, 2007
Community Center Theater

November 13 - Dec 2, 2007
The 5th Avenue Theatre

January 8 - 27, 2008
The Fisher Theatre

April 22-27, 2008
Wilshire Theatre

Yamaha Gear on Set for Whistle Down the Wind's First U.S. Tour
— Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musical Features 3 XS8s and a CP300 —