Everything's Ducky, the new musical take on "The Ugly Duckling," is such at hit at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, that two added performances quickly sold out and there are negotiations for a summer sitdown of the show in San Francisco.
TheatreWorks managing director Randy Adams told Playbill On-Line there are talks between TheatreWorks and San Francisco's 750-seat Theatre On the Square to reopen the Henry Krieger-Bill Russell tuner in May for a summer run. Nothing has been signed, Adams said, "We're in negotiations."
Adams suggested there is also much interest in the property beyond San Francisco and guessed the tuner has a long life. Krieger and Russell's previous musical was Broadway's short-lived, serious-minded Side Show, but Ducky is a sillier, family-friendly fable about a country chick's brush with big-city swandom. Russell co-wrote the libretto with Jeffrey Hatcher (Three Viewings).
Adams said there may be some script or musical adjustments during the production's down time. "They may do some work on the show," Adams said. Performances of the initial run end Feb. 13 at the Mountainview Center for the Performing Arts.
Noting a summer gig is still unsure, Adams said he hopes to reunite as much of the original cast as possible for any near-future TheatreWorks run. *
The show got solid reviews and audiences embraced it brassy musical comedy style. It is the biggest box office hit in the theatre's 30-year history.
The added shows in the Jan. 19-Feb. 13 run were Feb. 8 and Feb 12. Official opening was Jan. 22.
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.
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 TheatreWorks information.
The show is not to be confused with the London-born Honk!, a family-oriented musical based on the same source material, that is currently playing at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, NY. -- By Kenneth Jones