A casting notice indicates that the new musical will play the Paper Mill Sept. 10-Oct. 10. The tour, which is booked through June 2010, will begin Oct. 12. (There has been no official announcement about the Paper Mill run.)
As previously reported, Little House will also play the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Buell Theatre Dec. 15-27. No other tour dates for the new musical, which casts "Little House on the Prairie" TV star Melissa Gilbert as Ma, have been announced.
Little House on the Prairie — inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder's famed "Little House" books — boasts direction by The Little Mermaid's Francesca Zambello. The new musical features a book by Tony Award winner Rachel Sheinkin (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), music by Academy Award winner Rachel Portman ("Emma") and lyrics by Donna DiNovelli. Kristen Blodgette is the music supervisor, and Michele Lynch is the choreographer.
The Guthrie's world-premiere cast included Gilbert as Ma with Steve Blanchard (Beauty and the Beast, Frankenstein) as Pa, Carnegie Mellon graduate Kara Lindsay as Laura, Jenn Gambatese (Tarzan, Is He Dead?) as Mary, Sara Jean Ford (The Phantom of the Opera) as Nellie and Kevin Massey (Big River, Tarzan) as Almanzo Wilder.
Press notes for Little House state, "Families will continue to fall in love with these life affirming stories about the Ingalls' struggles and triumphs through the celebration of the pioneering spirit and the core values on which this country was founded – a spirit that resonates within each of us today." The casting notice says that the roles of Ma, Pa, Laura, Almanzo, Nellie Oleson, Mr. Oleson, Mr. Boast and Miss Wilder/Mrs. Brewster have been cast.
Paper Mill Playhouse is located in Millburn, NJ, at 22 Brookside Drive. For more information call (973) 376-4343 or visit www.papermill.org.