The show by the composer known for his cabaret songs and the Tony Award-nominated writer Kellogg (Anna Karenina) is "a new western musical loosely based on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure — and we do mean loosely," according to the Lyric Stage announcement. "When Johnny Blood, a hot-tempered young cowboy, is sentenced to hang for killing a man in a bar fight, his sister, a novice nun in a nearby mission, goes to the governor to plead for her brother's life. The governor promises to pardon Johnny if his sister, the sister, will 'do his bidding' for the night."
The "humorous complications involve a hard-bitten sheriff, a voluptuous saloon girl and a priest who reads Nietzsche."
The staging is a co-production with Casa Manana. It runs April 30-May 15, 2004.
The Lyric Stage season also includes the Jerry Ross, Richard Adler musical, The Pajama Game (Sept. 19-Oct. 4); the Southwest premiere of the Rodgers Award winning Opal, with book , music and lyrics by Robert Lindsey Nassif, based on the childhood diary of Opal Whiteley, aka Francoise D'Orleans (Dec. 5-20); a revival of a past Lyric Stage hit, Abyssinia, with music by Ted Kociolek, book by James Racheff and Ted Kociolek and lyrics by James Racheff (Feb. 13-28, 2004); the annual concert known as Dallas Divas! (March 12-13, 2004, at Carpenter Performance Hall at 8 PM).
Lynne Taylor-Corbett directs Opal with musical direction by Scott A. Eckert and scenic design by Walt Spangler. The musical is billed this way: "Orphaned in a shipwreck off the Oregon coast, an aristocratic girl is taken in by an embittered childless woman. The child is given a new name, Opal, and begins her adventures in this rugged world – all the while expecting her parents to someday return. To survive, she creates a world of fantasy and enchantment. The magic of her extraordinary imagination transforms the lives of those around her – the shy lumberjack, a blind girl and Opal's own foster mother. Finally, in the ashes of a devastating forest fire, Opal discovers hope and home."
Abyssinia is based on the novel "Marked by Fire" by Joyce Carol Thomas. According to the announcement, "God blessed Abyssinia Jackson with an amazing voice. A personal tragedy so rocks her faith that she loses the will to sing. This inspiring new musical chronicles her journey back to faith and song. For the first time in its history, Lyric Stage is restaging a production. [It] first played here in October of 2001, opening just three weeks after 9/11. Audiences and critics alike were overcome by this incredible new musical."
The Pajama Game is the American musical based on the novel, "7-1/2 cents," about labor strife and romance in a pajama factory. The score includes "Hey There," "Hernando's Hideaway," "There Once Was a Man," "Steam Heat" and more.
Lyric Stage has produced 11 world premieres, including Roadside, After the Fair, Joseph and Mary, Cather County and more.
All performances are in the Irving Arts Center's Dupree Theater, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., in Irving, TX., unless otherwise noted. Performance times are 8 PM Thursdays-Saturdays and 2:30 PM Sundays. On the final Saturday performance times are 2:30 PM and 8 PM.
Season tickets are priced from $70 to $120 and are available by calling (972) 252-2787. For more information, visit www.lyricstage.org.