You loved the book, now see the Broadway musical.
Tony Award-winning lighting designers Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Ragtime, Cabaret, Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk) have joined the design team of John Napier (set) and Andreane Neofitou (costumes), who had previously contributed to the hit tryout staging at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1999.
Sound designers are Tom Clark and Mark Menard. Steve Tyler is music director, Larry Hochman is orchestrator. James Barbour, Marla Schaffel and Mary Stout played Rochester, Jane and Mrs. Fairfax, respectively, in La Jolla, and will star on Broadway. Caird will be on hand for auditions in New York in late July.
The 2000 Broadway opening for the show about a 19th-century heroine orphan trying to find her place in the world will be Dec. 3. The show's sprawling set (by Cats designer Napier) needs 32 feet of wing space, which the Atkinson has. The show has 36 changes in scenery, including the "burning down" of Thornfield Hall. *
Jane Eyre is drawn from Bronte's 1847 novel of a plain woman falling in love with the mysterious, secretive Rochester in provincial England.
The music and lyrics are by Paul Gordon, with additional lyrics by Caird, who serves as librettist and co-director (with Scott Schwartz).
Tryout previews began July 13, 1999, at the La Jolla Playhouse in coastal La Jolla, CA, near San Diego. It closed Sept. 5.
The Broadway producers of Jane Eyre are lead producer Annette Niemtzow (The Kentucky Cycle), producers Janet Robinson, Pam Koslow (Jelly's Last Jam) and Margaret McFeeley Golden, and associate producers Jennifer Manocherian and Carolyn Kim McCarthy.
Composer-lyricist Gordon's work has been sung by Bette Midler, Amy Grant, Smokey Robinson, Patti LaBelle and more. He wrote the chart topping songs, "Next Time I Fall" and "Friends and Lovers." Caird might be best known for staging Nicholas Nickleby and co-directing and co adapting Les Miserables. His recent London staging of Candide was hailed a fresh adaptation of Leonard Bernstein's problematic classic.
The La Jolla cast -- expected to be roughly the same for Broadway, depending on availability -- was led by James Barbour (Carousel, Beauty and the Beast) as Rochester, Marla Schaffel (a onetime Fantine from Les Miserables) as Jane, Mary Stout as Mrs. Fairfax, and Elizabeth DeGrazia as Blanche.
In its long development, Jane Eyre had test runs in Wichita, KS, and Toronto, Ontario, and has been significantly revised and refined. Broadway tickets range $50-$86. Call (212) 307-4100. The box office opens Oct. 2.