The creator of the irreverent Off-Broadway revue Fobidden Broadway has teamed with the composer/lyricist of Titanic on the biblical musical In the Beginning, which will be presented Aug. 11-22 at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick, Me.
Titled 1-2-3-4-5 and History Loves Company in previous incarnations in N.Y. and Chicago, the musical is a retelling of Old Testament through folks peripheral to the action. Instead of Noah, we meet his cousin; Adam and Eve are out of the picture, but we visit their neighbors. Tunes in the show include "No Women in the Bible," "New Words," and "Nileside Cotillion." David H. Hahn penned the libretto, which, as the press release reminds us, was based on the Bible.
A production spokesperson told Playbill On-Line, "The script has been worked on with a new author -- David Hahn. Maury came to us through Music Theatre International, and he'll be in residence at the theatre."
Artistic director Abbott had worked on the Kopit/Yeston Phantom in Houston.
Gerard Alessandrini, creator and director of Off-Broadway's Forbidden Broadway, will direct In The Beginning. Maine State Music Theatre, now in its 40th year, also lists Man of La Mancha and Anything Goes as part of its 1998 season. However, the playhouse, which bills itself as "Maine's only professional music theatre," had a couple of surprises up its sleeve.
Aside from In the Beginning, the season included a restaging of Smile, Howard Ashman and Marvin Hamlisch's musical that flopped on Broadway in 1986 but retained a strong cadre of admirers. Based on the 1975 film by Michael Ritchie (screenplay by Jerry Belson), Smile satirized middle-America in its look at beauty pageants and the desperate conniving of its participants and organizers. The production ran June 23 to July 4.
Man of La Mancha opened the season (June 9-20).
Show Boat will pull in July 27-Aug. 8, featuring such Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein classics as "Bill" and "Old Man River." Artistic director Abbott will direct. According to spokesperson Peterson, Stacy Robinson will play Joe; Patricia Ben Peterson will probably play Magnolia.
At the end of the season, as a special bonus, MSMT is also co-producing Master Class with Portland Stage Company, Aug. 25-Sept. 19. Terrence McNally's Tony-winning play shows opera diva Maria Callas giving advice -- and headaches -- to a trio of singing hopefuls.
For tickets and information on the Maine State Music Theatre season call (207) 725-8769.