Side Show's composer Henry Krieger and lyricist Bill Russell will spread their wings again with a new pop musical, Everything's Ducky, based on "The Ugly Duckling," to be presented by TheatreWorks of Palo Alto, CA, Jan. 19-Feb. 13, 2000.
The world premiere begins previews Jan. 19, 2000 and officially opens Jan. 22, 2000, on the mainstage of the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, one of three spaces used by TheatreWorks.
The team that wrote Broadway's Side Show, a 1997 flop with a cult following, conceived Everything's Ducky as a country-music variation on the classic story of the outsider bird who transforms into a swan. The satiric comic musical (with book by Russell) is about a "country chick's journey to big-city swandom," according to TheatreWorks, "complete with high-fashion makeovers, low-brow temptations and gossip-column romance."
The material is a far quack from the serious-minded Side Show, which documented the rise of the Hilton sisters, conjoined twins who left the freak show to play vaudeville and B-grade movies. Side Show (31 previews, 91 regular performances in New York) failed to find an audience on Broadway in 1997-98, but was revived by TheatreWorks in October 1998.
TheatreWorks' founding artistic director Robert Kelley said the Ducky project came about after Russell and Krieger visited the Side Show production process in fall 1998. "The liked the work," Kelley told Playbill On-Line Feb. 10. "I told them we were interested in anything they might do (in the future). We loved their work as a team and individually. Out of that budding relationship came some discussions (of new shows)." Everything's Ducky has had a least two readings in New York, said Kelley. Gip Hoppe, who wrote and directed Jackie: An American Life on Broadway in 1997, will direct Everything's Ducky in California.
Kelley said the show is still "in development," but he read and was impressed by a complete script and heard a complete score. Managing director Randy Adams attended a New York reading.
"It's funny and quite different from Side Show but still alive with the same humanity," Kelley said.
TheatreWorks produces at the 400-seat Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and on both the 585-seat Main and 150-seat Second Stage of the Mountain View Center in nearby Mountain View, CA, in the Bay Area.
The current 1998-99 season was 95 percent sold out for the year, and 3,000 subscriptions were added this season alone.
Also on TheatreWorks' 30th season, in 1999-2000, are:
*Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park With George June 23-July 18, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
*Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown (West Coast premiere), July 28-Oct. 3, Mountain View Center Second Stage.
*Tina Howe's Pride's Crossing (Northern California premiere), Aug. 25-Sept. 19, Mountain View Center.
*Jeanine Tesori's Violet (California premiere), Oct. 20-Nov. 14, Mountain View Center.
*Kaufman and Hart's You Can't Take It With You, Dec. 1, 1999-Jan. 9, 2000, Lucie Stern Theatre.
*Everything's Ducky (world premiere), Jan. 19, 2000-Feb. 13, 2000, Mountain View Center.
*August Wilson's Fences, March 8-April 9, 2000, Lucie Stern Theatre.
*Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan (Northern California premiere), April 12-May 7, Mountain View Center.
For season information, call (650) 463-1960 or (800) 273-3752.
-- By Kenneth Jones