Initial casting has been announced for Glory Ride, a new musical with Book, Music & Lyrics by Victoria Buchholz & Todd Buchholz, directed by Kelly Devine (Olivier Award-winning choreographer of ‘Come From Away’), which reveals the secret wartime heroics of Gino Bartali, one of the most beloved athletes of all time.
A Tour de France winner, in the 1940s he was considered the second most famous man in Italy – after Mussolini. His cycling achievements on the Alps and Pyrenees were legendary, but until recently, few knew that he risked his life by saving hundreds of people from fascism during World War II.
With his cycling career as a cover, Bartali cycled thousands of miles between cities across Italy. Hidden in the frame of his bike were falsified identity cards and other secret documents to help victims cross borders to safety. His bravery rescued hundreds of persecuted Jews and other refugees, many of whom were children. In 2013, Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, recognised Gino Bartali with the honour of Righteous Among the Nations.
Glory Ride transports the audience to the golden hills of Tuscany during the darkest days of the Second World War, with a story combining heist, history, humour, and humanity and a soaring new score.
Victoria Buchholz encountered the story of Gino Bartali while travelling in Tuscany and set out to put it to music as Glory Ride , working with her father, Todd, a best-selling author, inventor and senior White House economic adviser.
Glory Ride was developed through workshops in New York and Los Angeles featuring top Broadway talent, with sold-out staged concerts last year at The Other Palace Theatre in London.
Casting announced today includes:
Josh St. Clair (as Gino Bartali). Josh’s West End credits include the original cast of ‘Frozen’ (as Grand Pabbie), Peter Kingsley in ‘City of Angels’, ‘School of Rock’ and ‘Wicked’, and the UK tour of ‘Kinky Boots’.
Amy Di Bartolomeo (Adriana Bani). Amy is best known for playing Catherine of Aragon in ‘SIX’ in the West End, Leibeswoosh in ‘Bat Out of Hell’ (West End & Toronto), Meat in ‘We Will Rock You’ (UK tour).
Fed Zanni (Major Mario Carita). From Medina, Italy, Fed’s recent credits include Basilius in ‘Head Over Heels’ at Manchester’s Hope Mill, Nikos in ‘Mamma Mia! The Party’ (O2), ‘The Twelve Tenors’ (European Tour) and Jesus in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.
Daniel Robinson (Giorgio Nico). Daniel was Kurt’s Dad in ‘Heathers the Musical’ (The Other Palace), Nathan Detroit in ‘Guys and Dolls’ and Luther Billis in ‘South Pacific’ both (Kilworth House), ‘Kiss Me Kate’ and ‘South Pacific’ (Théâtre du Châtelet); ‘My Night with Reg’ and ‘Piaf’ (Donmar Warehouse).
Ruairidh McDonald (Felix). Winner of the Young Scottish Musical Theatre Performer of the Year,
Ruairidh made his professional debut as Buggins in ‘Half A Sixpence’ at Kilworth House and was John in ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ (Pitlochry Festival Theatre).
Ryan Bennett (Commander Graziani). Ryan was recently in ‘Heathers’ as Coach Ripper/Big Bud Dean/Kurt’s Dad (The Other Palace) and was Lurch in ‘The Addams Family’ (UK tour).
Peter Watts (Fantali). Peter’s credits include Macduff in ‘Macbeth’ (UK Tour), Antiochus in ‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre’ (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), Trinculo in ‘The Tempest’ and Bottom in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (both Nottingham Playhouse).
Jamie Coyne (Cosmo). James is a recent graduate of Guildford School of Acting. ‘Glory Ride’ is his professional debut.
Loris Scarpa (Lorenzo). Loris was Svec in ‘Once in Concert’ (London Palladium), ‘Rapunzel’ at The Watermill and played Tweedledum/The March Hare in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (The Mercury Theatre).
Susianna Paisio (Rosetta). Susianna is an Italian actress and singer-songwriter based in London and Turin. Her stage credits include ‘La Conferenza degli Uccelli’m ‘Chotto Desh’ (Akram Khan Company), ‘Song of the Earth’ (Edinburgh Festival, shortlisted for the Sustainable Practice Award), ‘Una Mendicante Cieca Cantava l’Amore’ (Teatro dei Sensibili, Milan) and ‘Sibilla in Il Postino dell’Arcobaleno’ (Teatro San Babila, Milan).
Steve Watts (Torello). Steve’s credits include ‘Passion’ at Hope Mill, Manchester, ‘As You Like It’ (West End and International Tour); ‘Macbeth’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Lady Be Good’ and ‘The Boy Friend’ (Regent’s Park).
Alice Spigariol (ensemble). Alice is a recent graduate of Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Glory Ride’ is Alice’s professional debut.
Glory Ride is at Charing Cross Theatre 22 April to 29 July, 2023