The dawning show is "a collection of funny, moving, theatrical songs about discovery and surprise at the twists and turns one faces in life," according to the creators. Conceived for a cast of two men and three women, "the show takes us for an emotional ride on the roller-coaster of human experience and shows how, ultimately, all roads can lead to happiness."
Following a week of initial work earlier this year at TheatreWorks in California, Sing Me a Happy Song began its further development with Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT, the week of Feb. 7. The in-house workshop and Feb. 11 private presentation is being funded, in part, through a grant from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Producer-Writer Initiative and is tied to a pilot program for the incipient Goodspeed Musical Theatre Institute.
The Goodspeed institute allows students and early-career actors to be a part of the process of new work, to be in special classes and workshops and to witness the creation of new shows.
The performers Kate Baldwin, Anastasia Barzee, Ta'Rea Campbell, Graham Rowat and Wayne Wilcox are joining director John Ruocco to explore a new collection of material written by Stitt, by Kirshenbaum, and by both of them together. For the Goodspeed week, Laura Bergquist serves as musical director.
"The creative collaboration is taking a unique shape because each of the authors is known for writing both music and lyrics," according to an announcement. "The revue will be comprised partly of songs they have written individually and partly of songs they have been working on as a team." Kirshenbaum wrote the score for the musical Summer of '42 (book by Hunter Foster), which premiered at Goodspeed-at-Chester before moving Off-Broadway, and for which he received a grant from the Jonathan Larson Foundation. Other shows include Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (book by Myles McDonnell), and the upcoming Party Come Here (book by Daniel Goldfarb). Through a grant from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, he is currently artist-in-residence at Goodspeed Musicals.
Stitt has written the musicals Lizan with Bil Wright and The Water with Jeff Hylton and Tim Werenko, as well as the song cycle Alphabet City Cycle with Marcy Heisler. She has written several choral pieces, including A Better Resurrection, commissioned by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and numerous cabaret songs. Georgia is also currently writing Big Red Sun with John Jiler and a collection of songs with Sam Davis. Visit www.georgiastitt.com.