It looks like Andrew Lippa and Brian Crawley's musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Little Princess — which will premiere in Sydney, Australia, in November 2002 and then travel to Melbourne and Brisbane — will debut on Broadway soon.
The Susan Schulman-directed piece will soon audition for a Broadway production, a recent casting notice indicated. Rehearsals will begin in April of next year. SEL/GFO, Heidi Ettinger and Dodger Stage Holding are producing.
Lippa did not return a phone call by press time. A spokesperson for the Dodgers told Playbill On-Line that no date had been set for the Broadway debut.
The composer of the Manhattan Theatre Club musical, The Wild Party, talked about his new project in the pages of the program accompanying the Kennedy Center's current "Sondheim Celebration." Lippa mentioned that the musical which will come to New York after playing Australia. As previously reported on Playbill On-Line, Heidi Ettinger will design the musical.
Native Aussie Anthony Warlow, who stars in Princess Down Under, is an opera singer in his country. He studied singing at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and won the Joan Sutherland Scholarship for singing. Schulman and Ettinger's partnership goes back more than a decade to the 1989 Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd. They went on to work on The Secret Garden and the 1998 Broadway revival of The Sound of Music starring Rebecca Luker.
Lippa's other credits include the Off-Broadway tuner john & jen and adding songs to the last Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He's also been writing songs for an upcoming TV version of The Wiz.
"The Little Princess," by the author of "The Secret Garden," tells of a fanciful little girl coming up against real-world spite and treachery. The material became a Shirley Temple film vehicle in 1939 and was updated for a 1995 remake. Because the source material is in the public domain, a number of musical versions of the tale have emerged in recent years.
—By Robert Simonson