Part of the DR2 Kids series, the musical will officially open Nov. 16 and run through Jan. 25, 2009. Timothy McDonald will direct.
The cast will feature Janice Mays in the title role with Tyler Adcock, Gordon Maniskas, Ernie Pruneda, Morgan Rose, Doug Thompson, Shannon Tyo and Katie Whetsell.
Dear Edwina features music by Goldrich and book and lyrics by Heisler. The musical, according to press notes, concerns 13-year-old heroine, Edwina Spoonapple, who "decides that she and her pals will [put on a show]. Edwina's special talent is giving advice, and she would do almost anything to be a part of the Kalamazoo Advice-a-palooza Festival. When a talent scout visits her hometown of Paw Paw, Michigan, Edwina — assisted by a host of quirky friends and neighbors — enthusiastically sings out her musical advice in hopes of finding her own special place in the spotlight. Together Edwina and chums set out to tackle a plethora of problems, in numbers about everything from birthday party etiquette to the proper way to set a table."
In a statement producer Daryl Roth said, "I've known and admired Marcy and Zina for years, and seeing a production last year of their show Junie B. Jones through the eyes of my grandchildren inspired me to invite them to be a part of my new children's theatre series, DR2 Kids. By introducing young audiences to creative, imaginative, quality musical theatre, it is my hope that we will build audiences for the future. Marcy and Zina have a youthful exuberance that is wonderfully contagious, and I look forward to Dear Edwina being the first of many future collaborations."
Heisler adds, "Maybe it isn't such a stretch for me to write about Midwestern girls yearning for fame in their garages, but Dear Edwina is about more than that. It's about friendship and family, learning and listening, having fun, surviving disappointment – not only giving good advice, but taking it too. At its heart, Dear Edwina is a celebration of the garage full of dreams we all have wherever we call home … dreams that deserve to be pursued, protected, and, on occasion, performed in large production numbers for our neighbors." The creative team will also include musical director Mark Hartman, choreographer Steven G. Kennedy, scenic designer Court Watson, lighting designer Kathryn Furst and costume designer Theresa Squire. Joe Kinosian will be the pianist/conductor for the production with Nicole Marcus as the drummer.
The musical, recommended for ages 5-12, is 60 minutes in length. Children will also have a chance to ask Edwina for advice by placing letters in a special box in the DR2 Theatre lobby. One letter will be answered each week, and Edwina's reply will be posted on www.DearEdwina.com.
PS Classics will release the world-premiere recording of Dear Edwina Nov. 11. The recording will feature Xanadu Tony nominee Kerry Butler as Edwina with Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins), Danny Burstein (South Pacific, The Drowsy Chaperone), Terrence Mann (Les Miz, Beauty and the Beast), Andrea Burns (In the Heights), Jeff Blumenkrantz (A Class Act, How to Succeed…), Telly Leung (Rent, Flower Drum Song) plus nine other performers.
Tickets, priced $29 (previews) and $39 (after opening), are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.dearedwina.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the DR2 box office, 103 East 15th Street.