The Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center in Marlton, NJ, will host the premiere of the new work, which is subtitled "A Jazz Age Musical" and concerns the tragic lives of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Vincent Marini, Lenape's producing artistic director, told Playbill On-Line that the musical will likely begin previews July 16, 2005, with an official opening July 20.
Scott & Zelda features music by Wildhorn and book and lyrics by Jack Murphy. "About two months ago, I got together with Frank and Jack to discuss the show," said Marini, "and I fell in love with the script the moment that I read it. I think Jack's writing is so smart and intelligent, and the score is some of the best work that Frank has done in the past ten years."
Marini said that a group of theatres will likely produce the New Jersey debut, and the musical "will have a life well beyond [the Lenape]. . . It really has a chance of being a definitive jazz-age musical."
Marini said that Scott & Zelda examines American celebrity: "It talks about these two people who fell in love in a time of innocence and the way that celebrity overtook them and changed their lives." A director for the project has not yet been announced.
According to production notes, "the entire piece is remembered and relived through the prism of Zelda’s madness — as unstable as a dream: it is the fall of 1919 one second, the summer of 1925 the next — Locales shift from Montgomery to New York to Paris to Hollywood depending solely on who’s talking to — or just as likely singing — to whom." Frank Wildhorn's Broadway musicals include Dracula, The Civil War, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Jekyll & Hyde. Wildhorn collaborated with Jack Murphy on Civil War.
The Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center recently premiered the concert version of Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde. For more information about the theatre, visit www.sjtheater.com.