Minneapolis' Children's Theatre Company will not only make it New York debut in 2002 with a new musical, A Year With Frog and Toad, but will also premiere two new works from established playwrights Nilo Cruz and Jeffrey Hatcher.
Eric Simonson (The Song of Jacob Zulu, Work Song) and Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, Once On This Island, Korczak's Children and Cruz's A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, respectively.
Hatcher, the author of Scotland Road, The Compleat Female Stage Beauty and Three Viewings, tells the story of humanitarian and children's rights advocate, Janusz Korczak, in Korczak's Children, playing March 18-April 19, 2003. Eric Simonson directs the biographical play, set in an orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation.
Cruz writes his first children's play with A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, based on the Gabriel Garcia Marquez tale. In the play, an old man with wings falls from the sky and is discovered by two children, who believe him to be an angel. When the townspeople realize what the children have befriended, the man with enormous wings becomes both an answer to prayer and a money-making side show attraction. Lauded director-choreographer Daniele directs A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, playing Sept. 3-Oct. 19, 2002.
Dutch theatre artist Moniek Merkx premieres his latest work, Once Upon a Forest, Jan. 21 March 8, 2003. In Forest, Merkx and Elissa Adams have created an avant garde retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, including "Snow White," "The Brave Little Tailor" and "Hans the Hedgehog," as they band together to defeat a dragon. Merkx will also direct. CTC spends the holiday season with a stage adaptation of the film version of "The Wizard of Oz" Nov. 19-Jan. 11, 2003. The final production will be the Timothy Mason-Hiram Titus musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss' "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," playing April 29-June 22, 2003. Both will be directed by CTC's Matthew Howe.
The world premiere musical, A Year With Frog and Toad, is based on Arnold Lobel's award-winning books about a pair of amphibians with an unwavering friendship despite their very different personalities. The small-cast musical features five performers (one to play Frog and one to play Toad, while the other three provide a menagerie of animal friends). Willie Reale wrote the book and lyrics. His brother Robert provided the music, based on 1920's jazz stylings. The penned Off-Broadway's Once Around the City, seen in 2001.
A Year With Frog and Toad opens the CTC season Aug. 20-Nov. 2. The children's musical then transfers immediately to the New Victory Theater for a pre-holiday run Nov. 15-Dec. 2.
Subscriptions range from $25-$105 with single tickets, available from July 29, 2002 on, for $12 $31. For reservations, call (612) 874-0400. For more information on Children's Theatre Company, visit http://www.childrenstheatre.org.