Musical About Kentucky Derby-Winning Horse Knocks Craig Lucas Project Out of Toronto Theatre

News   Musical About Kentucky Derby-Winning Horse Knocks Craig Lucas Project Out of Toronto Theatre
 
Dancer, a musical about Northern Dancer, the Canadian horse that made history winning the Kentucky Derby in 1964, will play the Elgin Theatre in Toronto May-June 2016, according to Canadian newspaper The Star.

The work, featuring a book and lyrics by Jim Betts with music by Marek Norman, will be produced Marlene Smith and John McKellar on a budget of about $1 million.

The musical, which features horses played by dancers, was seen in a workshop at the National Ballet studio.

Northern Dancer
Northern Dancer

The Star reports that Smith's booking of the theatre for Dancer knocked fellow producer Garth Drabinsky (Fosse, Parade, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman) out of the running for the space.

Drabinsky, who was recently released from prison on parole, had been planning to open two Broadway-bound new musicals over the next two years there — Hard Times (based on Stephen Foster songs with a script by American in Paris Tony nominee Craig Lucas and choreography by Spring Awakening Tony winner Bill T. Jones) in June 2016 and a musical based on the Shirley MacLaine film "Madame Sousatzka" in 2017.

Although Drabinsky had the Elgin reserved for June 2016, Smith secured the space with a monetary deposit.

Drabinsky's parole follows three years of serving time for fraud and forgery in connection with the collapse of his theatrical empire Livent. He was the subject of "Show Stopper," Barry Avrich's documentary about his career.

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