Goodspeed Opera House's 1998 season at its second stage, the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, continues to shape up with major-name projects.
Just So (Nov. 5-29), a musical based on Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories," joins Cy Coleman's previously announced new Exactly Like You (May 7-31) on the schedule. A third musical is scheduled to be announced later this month. Tickets go on sale March 28 at (860) 873-8668. Subscriptions are available now.
Just So is coproduced by British impresario Cameron Mackintosh (The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables).
With music by George Stiles, book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, Just So includes classic Kipling tales such as "How the Leopard Got His Spots," "How the Elephant Got His Trunk," "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin," and other tales, built around the coming-of-age of the Elephant Child.
Stile and Drewe collaborated previously on British musicals Warts and All, Navel Fluff and Other Trivial Pursuits and Honk!. Stiles also wrote music for adaptations of Moll Flanders, Tom Jones, and The Three Musketeers.
Exactly Like You, Cy Coleman's first musical since The Life and the latest in a long eclectic line that includes Sweet Charity, Barnum and The Will Rogers Follies, will have its world premiere May 7-31.
Exactly Like You, which Coleman described as "a courtroom drama, but very funny," will have lyrics by Coleman and A.E. Hotchner, his collaborator on the short-run 1980s musical Welcome to the Club, which dealt with another part of the legal system, an alimony jail.
Coleman, whose The Life won two Tony Awards in 1997 and was nominated for a Grammy Award Jan. 6, told Playbill On-Line that he's working on several projects simultaneously.
A Star Is Born, which began as an Andrew Lloyd Webber-produced London show, and also appeared for a time on the Livent Ltd. slate, is now being developed by Coleman with an independent producer. Lyrics for the show are being written by David Zippel, who did Coleman's Tony-winning City of Angels and the Disney film Hercules. As in all previous incarnations of the musical, Larry Gelbart (City of Angels, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) is writing the book. The musical is based on the oft-filmed story of a couple whose love is strained when one partner's career rises while the other one's falls.
But that's not all. Coleman is continuing to work with Barbara Fried and Bruce Villanch on 13 Days to Broadway, based on Russell Baker's diary of their musical Home Again, Home Again, which closed out of town. Coleman said, "It's about a show in trouble on the road, and what happens to the people involve. Everybody starts off loving each other, and winds up not speaking to each other. It's a very funny, bittersweet comedy, like a Marx Brothers movie."
-- By Robert Viagas