According to an Equity chorus call notice, the musical that had its premiere in California in January 2006 will take its next major step at Goodspeed's intimate developmental incubator May 9-June 8. Playbill.com has learned that this East Coast premiere will test major revisions made since the show's Mark Taper Forum staging in Los Angeles.
Jeremy Sams (who helmed Broadway's recent Noises Off) will direct, and Christopher Gattelli (Altar Boyz) will choreograph the pop show, which has music and lyrics by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last 5 Years) and a book by Dan Elish.
Michael P. Price is executive director of Goodspeed Musicals. Casting is by Mark Simon Casting. Rehearsals begin April 7.
The casting call is seeking "young performers ages 12-15, any ethnicity, to play 13-year-olds."
The characters in this original musical, according to the casting breakdown, include Evan, "a Jewish kid from NYC, transplanted to the middle of Indiana"; Archie, "sweet appealing immature…with issues that every teenager has plus he is physically challenged"; Brett, "football player, typical jock…a magnet — the girls think he is hot, the boys want to be just like him"; Patrice, "intellectual, smart, a bit lonely…not a victim…she has her own agenda"; Kendra, "sexy and a magnet like Brett"; Lucy, "Kendra's best friend…another sexy social and mature teen"; Richie, Simon, Eddie, Malcolm, "more 13 year olds…they are not very cool and try to emulate Brett. Adolescent, geeky, somewhat awkward. They are also funny and charming — the typical adolescents — all types"; Molly, Charlotte, Cassie, "they worship Lucy and Kendra…want to belong, want to be cool." Following a world-premiere engagement in January 2007 at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, commercial producer Bob Boyett, who was involved in the L.A. production, told Bloomberg.com that the musical is Broadway-bound.
"I'm very excited," Boyett said at the time. "It's one of the freshest and most fun shows to come along. It's a coming-of-age story that everyone can relate to."
The eventual Broadway production pricetag is $6-$7 million. Todd Graff directed the Mark Taper run.
The new pop musical comedy concerns thirteen 13-year-olds dealing with the perils of teenage years in a middle school in Indiana. The cast and band — all teenagers — at the Mark Taper Forum included Aaron Albert, Ricky Ashley, Caitlin Baunoch, Molly Bernstein, Jenáe Burrows, Emma Degerstedt, Jamie Eblen, Julia Harriman, Jordan Johnson, Tinashe Kachingwe, Tyler Mann, Sara Niemietz, Ryan Ogburn, J.D. Phillips, Ellington Ratliff, Chris Raymond, Charlie Rosen, Alex Scolari, Chloé Smith, Christian Vandal, Nehemiah Williams and Seth Zibalese.
Composer Brown is also at work on Honeymoon in Vegas, a new musical with a book by Andrew Bergman that is based on Bergman's 1992 movie of the same name. A revised version of his and Alfred Uhry's Parade opened in London in 2007 and was embraced by critics and subsequently recorded on CD.