THE ENCORE Presents “A Thousand Faces: The Lon Chaney Musical”


With a creative team of Broadway pros, A Thousand Faces: The Lon Chaney Musical will get its world premiere April 21 – May 1, 2022 at The Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter, Michigan. A Thousand Faces tells the incredible true story of the pioneering silent movie star, LON CHANEY. A CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Lon learns at an early age to communicate through facial expressions and pantomime. With their son, Creighton, in tow, Lon performs with his charismatic first wife as a song and dance man in Vaudeville houses across the country. When a family scandal destroys his theater career and results in a bitter divorce, Lon must quickly find work and establish a stable home or lose his son. He turns to the budding silent film industry—transforming himself with incredible depth and humanity into characters living on the fringe. Lon shoots to international fame as the star of over 150 films, including the original Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera. His unique ability to transform himself, with the aid of inventive makeup techniques that he developed, earned him the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Faces.”

"What a thrill to be premiering this new musical at the Encore!” says Broadway director, SAM SCALAMONI (Elf the Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast). “Directing this unique story of an artist who championed the misunderstood by bringing compassion, depth and dignity to humanity living on the fringe is such an honor. I can't wait to see how audiences react to our show about family and the gifts and challenges they bring!"

It was Scalamoni who first conceived the idea for the musical. After pitching it to RON CHANEY (Lon Chaney’s great-grandson and President of Chaney Entertainment), a partnership was formed. Together they have produced and developed this moving musical, which is based on the book, A Century of Chaneys, written by Ron and Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolf Man, Son of Dracula). From the first table read in New York City through multiple rewrites and subsequent readings, the journey ultimately led to Scalamoni contacting Broadway veteran and The Encore’s artistic director, DAN COONEY, with a pitch to premiere the first full-scale production in Dexter, Michigan.

Leading the company is Broadway’s DANNY GARDNER (Flying Over Sunset, Dames at Sea) and Music Director, GARY ADLER (Avenue Q, Altar Boyz, Radio City Christmas Spectacular). The musical features Book by ERIC LANE (Ride, Filming O'Keefe), Music by RACHEL DEVORE FOGARTY (The Necklace) and Lyrics by KEVIN FOGARTY (Call Me Home).

"I can't believe this is coming to fruition and am so pleased that the Encore has welcomed us,” states Ron Chaney, the musical’s creative consultant. “My great grandfather's life experiences formed him into one of the most gifted actors and artists to have ever graced the stage and screen. Both Lon Chaney and Lon Chaney, Jr. are very well known for playing Monsters and 'scaring' people. This amazing story and musical shows their human side that hopefully will touch your heart."

This World Premiere is funded, in part, by grants from Michigan Arts and Culture Council (formerly MCACA) and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Michigan Radio, and is presented by special arrangement with Ron Chaney and TLS Ventures, LLC.

A THOUSAND FACES will run for two weeks only, from April 21-May 1, 2022 at The Encore Musical Theatre Company. Tickets can be purchased at www.the‌, through the box office (no fee) by calling 734-268-6200, or in-person at The Encore Musical Theatre Company, 7714 Ann Arbor Street, Dexter, MI 48130.

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