Goodspeed-at-Chester/The Norma Terris Theatre, which hosted the American premiere of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's By Jeeves last season, has announced two-thirds of its 14th season, including the world premieres of the musicals Kudzu running May 15-June 8, and Gotham! running August 7-31.
Kudzu is a musical adaptation of the comic strip syndicated in 300 newspapers throughout the United States. It's creator Doug Marlette, collaborated on the book, music and lyrics with Jack Herrick, and Bland Simpson. Herrick and Simpson are members of the old time country bluegrass string band called the Red Clay Ramblers, who were featured on Broadway with Bill Irwin in Fool Moon, and provided the original music for New York productions of Diamond Studs and A Lie of the Mind.
In Kudzu, the lead character of the same name comes of age and explores his "tendril-tangled town" in search of true love and to fulfill his ambition to become a New York writer. Kudzu will be directed by Marcia Malcom Dodge, who previously directed On the Town at Goodspeed.
Douglas Bernstein and Denis Markell will see the premiere of their new musical comedy Gotham!, in which a small, English medieval town seeks fame by convincing the king to relocate his castle there. When the Royals mix with the common people of Gotham, all sorts of romantic entanglements and bizarre situations occur.
Previous collaborations by Bernstein and Markell include Upstairs at O'Neals and A Backers Audition, and their work is included in A. . . My Name is Still Alice. Parts of Gotham were featured in a 1994 review of new musicals called Dim Sum, performed by Favored Nations. The title song, Gotham! has been recorded by Varese Saraband on "Broadway Bound," with Harry Groener and Liz Larsen. There will be a third musical, to be announced, completing the season Oct. 30-Nov. 23. For tickets, what's playing on the mainstage or for more information, please call (860) 873-8668, or refer to the Goodspeed Opera House/Norma Terris regional listing on Playbill On Line.
--By Blair Glaser