Floyd Collins, the Adam Guettel-Tina Landau musical, opens the final stop on its "mini-tour" at the Goodman Theatre May 3. Previews began April 23 for performances through June 5.
Director-librettist Landau told PBOL (Mar. 10) that Chicago's Collins would be a revised edition. "Going into [the Old Globe production], we didn't really know what the next step was, if there was one. We just sort of started. We both left San Diego surprised at how this time and distance has given us a new perspective. We're headed towards Chicago where we have ten previews to put in some changes which are going to range from a new number and a cut number, a reordering of scenes, a restaging of a major sequence to a continued focus on letting the characters be really specific and subtle."
Based on the actual events surrounding the entombment of Kentucky caver Floyd Collins in the Great Sand Cave he discovered, Floyd Collins explores family ties, the search for fame and glory, and one of the first American media circuses to erupt in the 20th Century. When it premiered at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons Feb. 9, 1996, the piece won a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical.
Guettel (Saturn Returns, Love's Fire) wrote the Obie Award-winning score and lyrics with Landau providing the book and additional lyrics. Songs include "The Ballad of Floyd Collins," "Lucky," "Heart An' Hand," "The Riddle Song," "Is That Remarkable?" and "How Glory Goes."
Romain Fruge (B'way's Titanic, Tommy) stars as the title character with a cast that features Guy Adkins (Goodman Theatre's Arcadia, The House of Martin Guerre) as Skeets Miller, John Ahlin (Broadway's WHOOPEE!, Oh Best Beloved) as Carmichael, Anne Allgood (The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, Old Globe's Time & Again) as Miss Jane, Jack Donahue (Old Globe's What the World Needs Now...) as Reporter 1/Cliff Roney, Marty Higginbotham as Bee Doyle, Kim Huber (original Broadway company and tour Beauty and the Beast) as Nellie Collins, James Moye as Reporter 2/Floyd Understudy, Ryan Perry (Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public) as Reporter 3/Homer Understudy, John Taylor as Lee Collins, Clarke Thorell (Titanic, Tommy) as Homer Collins, Jacob Garrett White (New York Shakespeare Festival's Cymbeline) as Jewell Estes and Michael Leon Wooley (Five Guys Named Moe) as Ed Bishop. The design team includes James Scheutte (sets), Scott Zielinski (lighting), Melina Root (costumes) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound). Ted Sperling and Rob Berman musical direct.
Chicago is the final stop for Floyd Collins, which visited the American Music Theatre Festival in Philadelphia (April 7-18) and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego (Feb. 13-March 21). Hopes are to bring it to the Next Wave Festival at NY's Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fall 1999.
Tickets ($40-$28) for the Goodman production are available by calling the box office at (312) 443-3800. The Goodman Theatre is located at 200 S. Columbus Drive.
-- By Christine Ehren