The biggest hit in the 30-year history of TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, is Everything's Ducky, composer Henry Krieger and lyricist-librettist Bill Russell's hip update of "The Ugly Duckling."
Due to audience demand for the world premiere musical comedy, two performances to the Jan. 19-Feb. 13 run have been added: A 7:30 PM Feb. 8 show is new, and so is a 2 PM Feb. 12 show.
Krieger and Russell are known for their serious-minded Broadway musical, Side Show, and opted for something sillier in 2000.
Official opening for the musical, about a "country chick's journey to big city swandom," was Jan. 22 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Director Gip Hoppe helms the story of Serena, a young duckling whose appearance is mocked by the barnyard folk. She leaves to find love and success in the big city and ends up in an underground club called Poultry in Motion, where young ducks fall prey to wolves. She escapes and meets a fashion photographer and a fashion exec who turn her into a supermodel.
Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (Scotland Road, Three Viewings) co scripted with Russell.
An extension of Krieger and Russell's beauty-and-freak themes in Side Show, about conjoined twins who play vaudeville, Everything's Ducky has a serious core underneath its bright shell, the authors say.
"It's about acquiring self-esteem, taking each day with a plucky attitude, and not letting anyone make you feel like you aren't good enough," Krieger, who also wrote tunes to Dreamgirls, said in a statement.
Everything's Ducky stars Angela Robinson (Paper Mill Playhouse's Dreamgirls) as Serena and Michael McEachran (Broadway's Little Me) as Prince Drake. The company includes Gina Ferrall, Danny Burstein, Karen Murphy, J.B. Wing, Andrea Chamberlain, David McDonald, Josh Prince and Bobby Daye.
Director Hoppe is also a playwright, known for Jackie: An American Life. Linda Goodrich choreographs.
Designers are Robert Bissinger (set) and Beaver Bauer (costumes).
Tickets are $20-$37. Call (650) 903-6000 for information.
-- By Kenneth Jones