Everything's Ducky, the new musical written by co-librettist Jeffrey Hatcher, composer Henry Krieger and lyricist and co-librettist Bill Russell, ends its run at the La Mirada Theatre Dec. 10. The company, headed by Natalie Toro, is part of a semi-tour that began in St. Louis Sept. 6-Oct. 6 and continued to Cincinnati Oct. 17-Nov. 17. Its world premiere was staged to great success at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, in January February 2000. There was talk of a commercial continuation in San Francisco, but the stagings at the Missouri and Ohio nonprofits followed. The show develops further now at La Mirada.
Everything's Ducky is the story of Serena, a young duckling whose appearance is mocked by the barnyard folk. She leaves to find love and success in New Duck 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.
Toro recently starred as Eva Peron in the national tour of Evita. Other credits include Eponine in Broadway's Les Miserables, Sally in Alan Menken's A Christmas Carol and Ginger in Zombie Prom.
Joining her are Tony Capone (Miss Saigon, Carousel) as Mayor Mule and Drake and Tony nominee John Herrera (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Evita) as Mr. Lambkins and the Wolf. Also in the cast are Jonathan Brody (Clem Coyote and others), Mark Chmiel (The King/Armand), Bobby Daye (Carl Coyote), Alicia Irving (Mrs. Mallard, Aunt Leda, Queen), Tracey Connor Lee (Mrs. Bovine/Galinda), Angela Pupello (Mildred) and J.B. Wing (Millicent).
Gil Hoppe directs. Director Hoppe is also a playwright, known for Jackie: An American Life. Linda Goodrich choreographs. Designing the show are Robert Bissinger (set) and Beaver Bauer (costumes). The design concept places Ducky on the floor in a little girl's bedroom where a toy farm animal set brings the fable to life.
Tickets to Everything's Ducky are $35. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard. For reservations, call (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310.
A commercial continuation of the TheatreWorks staging was hoped for in May 2000 at Theatre on the Square in San Francisco, but a staging there is now more likely in early 2001 after the holiday 2000 run at Tom McCoy and Cathy Rigby's La Mirada Theatre in California.
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 for Dreamgirls, said in a statement.
At TheatreWorks, Everything's Ducky featured Angela Robinson (Paper Mill Playhouse's Dreamgirls) as Serena and Michael McEachran (Broadway's Little Me) as Prince Drake. The company included Gina Ferrall, Danny Burstein, Karen Murphy, J.B. Wing, Andrea Chamberlain, David McDonald, Josh Prince and Bobby Daye.
— By Christine Ehren
and Kenneth Jones