Maltby and Daniele Will Swab The Pirate Queen's Decks

News   Maltby and Daniele Will Swab The Pirate Queen's Decks
 
Broadway veterans Richard Maltby Jr. and Graciela Daniele have been invited to work on sharpening the new Broadway-bound musical, The Pirate Queen.
Richard Maltby Jr.
Richard Maltby Jr. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

No official announcement has yet been made about them joining the team or getting title-page credit, but their contributions have been sought. Playbill.com learned that director Frank Galati has not been replaced.

Tony Award winner Maltby, the Broadway director and lyricist who penned lyrics for Miss Saigon, will work on the book and lyrics with his Saigon colleagues Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, who wrote The Pirate Queen (John Dempsey is credited with co-writing the show's lyrics).

Maltby won his Tony in 1978 for Best Direction of a Musical (Ain't Misbehavin'), and was Tony nommed for Best Score for Big, Nick & Nora, Song and Dance, Miss Saigon and Baby, and for the direction of Fosse, Baby, Song and Dance and Blood Knot.

Graciela Daniele, Galati's Ragtime choreographer (she was Tony nominated for that show, among others) will work on The Pirate Queen's musical staging.

The new musical, about 16th-century Irish chieftain Grace O'Malley, was not embraced by critics after the Oct. 29 opening of its world-premiere engagement at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. It runs to Nov. 26 in the Windy City before early 2007 rehearsals of the rewrites begin. "It's a gorgeous production, and the cast is sensational," Maltby told the New York Post Nov. 15. "It's an interesting story that is just not dramatized correctly. I think when that happens, the show will come alive."

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The lavish musical about Shakespeare-era Irish Chieftain Grace O'Malley comes with a promising pedigree: The writer and composer created Les Misérables and Miss Saigon; the director is Tony Award winner Frank Galati (The Grapes of Wrath); the producers Moya Doherty and John McColgan were behind the international sensation Riverdance.

"The framework of what we have we're happy with," Doherty earlier told Variety. "It's the order in which we tell the story, and giving the audience more back-story, that we'll continue to work on."

Previews began at the Cadillac Palace Oct. 3.

Previews begin on Broadway March 2, 2007, at the Hilton Theatre. It opens April 5.

The cast of 42 includes Stephanie J. Block as Grace O'Malley.

According to the producers, "The Pirate Queen is an epic musical adventure celebrating the legendary Irish Chieftain Grace O'Malley. Based on her real-life story, The Pirate Queen tells of a compelling, inspirational woman; a heroine who led an extraordinary life as a pirate, chieftain, lover and mother in 16th century Ireland."

Commissioned and produced by Riverdance's Doherty and McColgan, "this new musical combines classic storytelling and a sweeping score, with the powerful, vibrant traditions of Irish dance and song, to create a modern musical event that is both an historic romance and a timeless epic."

The Pirate Queen is based upon the novel "Grania-She King of the Irish Seas" by Morgan Llywelyn.

For more information, visit www.thepiratequeen.com.

Stephanie J. Block (Above) and Jeff McCarthy (Below) lead the ensemble in <i>The Pirate Queen</i>
Stephanie J. Block (Above) and Jeff McCarthy (Below) lead the ensemble in The Pirate Queen Photo by Joan Marcus
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