Loesser's Andersen Coming to the Stage

News   Loesser's Andersen Coming to the Stage
 
A Broadway musical version of Frank Loesser's "Hans Christian Andersen," based on Danny Kaye's hit flick of 1952, got into gear July 18 when Dodger Productions struck a deal with the Loesser estate to produce such a project.

A Broadway musical version of Frank Loesser's "Hans Christian Andersen," based on Danny Kaye's hit flick of 1952, got into gear July 18 when Dodger Productions struck a deal with the Loesser estate to produce such a project.

The Dodgers, who've done quite well with revivals of Loesser works (namely his Tony winners for 1951 and 1962, Guys and Dolls"and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), handily landed the rights to the original film score. The songs consisted of "Wonderful Copenhagen," "No Two People," "Anywhere I Wander," the Oscar-nominated "Thumbelina," "The Ugly Duckling," "The King's New Clothes," "I'm Hans Christian Andersen" and "The Inch Worm."

Moss Hart's original screenplay, generally considered the film's weakest link, was rewritten for the stage in 1974 by Beverley Cross [Maggie Smith's husband] as, simply, Hans Andersen, and the songs were utilized. Tommy Steele starred, and Harry Fielding produced, when the show opened in London. It never got here, but a different version was done regionally with Michael Feinstein.

The projected Dodger edition will have a brand-new book and could possibly begin as a national tour leading to Broadway as soon as the fall of 1997.

The Dodgers just closed a successful How To Succeed on Broadway with Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, but the national tour continues to press on starring Ralph Macchio.-- By Harry Haun

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