Librettist Arthur Kopit and composer Don Siegal are busy putting the majestic America saga of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to music.
Siegal told Playbill On-Line that the duo hope to have a first draft of Lewis and Clark: The Musical ready in the next six to eight months.
Siegal is an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He said he was steered by composer Maury Yeston to Kopit, Yeston's collaborator on Nine and Phantom. Siegal and Kopit have been working on the project for the last year.
Lewis and Clark will feature as characters the two titular American explorers, as well as their female Indian guide, Sacagawea, and the others members of the "Corps of Discovery" which famously found its way to the Pacific Ocean in the early years of the 19th century.
"It's a very theatricalized version of this story," said Siegal. "It's not a linear telling, it's not traditional. We have a very theatrical conceit." He described the music for the piece as being in the Americana vein of Aaron Copland. Siegal's musicals have been produced at numerous venues including Manhattan Theatre Club, The Goodspeed Opera House, The Seattle Repertory Company and Musical Theatre Works. He is also working on a new musical with Ron Clark, My Wife's Name is Maurice, which recently received a reading in New York.
Kopit's other musical work includes High Society and the non-Lloyd Webber Phantom of the Opera, with Yeston. He is better remembered for his plays, such as Indians, Wings and Oh Dad, Poor Dad.....
—By Robert Simonson