Musicals Gemini, Chasing Nicolette, Einstein's Dreams and Randy Newman Play Philly's Prince in 2004-05

News   Musicals Gemini, Chasing Nicolette, Einstein's Dreams and Randy Newman Play Philly's Prince in 2004-05 Prince Music Theater, devoted to the development of new musicals and revivals of classics, announced the Philadelphia premieres of Einstein's Dreams, Chasing Nicolette and a new Randy Newman show for the 2004-05 season.

The already-announced Gemini, The Musical, based on the Philly-set play by Albert Innaurato, will launch the season Oct. 9-31. A revival of Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle gets a concert staging Jan. 26-Feb. 6, 2005. Charles Gilbert directs.

The Prince production of the best-selling Alan Lightman book, "Einstein's Dreams," represents the American premiere of the show by Joanne Sydney Lessner (book and lyrics) and Joshua Rosenblum (music). Its world premiere is in Portugal in early 2005.

The Randy Newman Project June 4-26, 2005, has music and lyrics by Newman ("Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc.") in a conception by Newman, Michael Roth and Jerry Patch. The show is billed as a Philly premiere.

According to the season announcement, "In this new stage piece, Randy takes us on an odyssey through his own life: his adventures in Hollywood and New York, his identity crises, and his passionate views of America over the past 40 years. In songs like 'Sail Away,' 'My Country,' 'Political Science' and 'Days of Heaven,' Newman deals with American upheaval, change, and triumph."

The show features "both fresh takes on some of his greatest hits and new material created specifically for the Prince production." Broadway star Daniel Jenkins (Big River) will portray Randy Newman on stage, The composer will be on hand for special subscribers-only events. A show titled The Education of Randy Newman, featuring Jenkins, previously had a 2002 production in Seattle. That production was a revamp of a 2000 show seen at South Coast Rep.

Douglas C. Wager directs Gemini, which has a book by Albert Innaurato, music by Charles Gilbert and lyrics by Innaurato and Gilbert.

The coming-of-age tale of an opera-loving college kid named Francis, who returns to his South Philly neighborhood for the summer in the late 1970s, has a score that "mines all the musical treasures of this tale. Francis sings duets with Maria Callas; his father dispenses South Philly wisdom like Sinatra; the kids rock out their dilemmas as they all get down—way down—with some funk."

Gemini, The Musical is billed as "a fun, flamboyant and impolite comedy with a big heart" that "may not be appropriate for young audiences."

The new fairytale musical, Chasing Nicolette, has book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg and music by David Friedman under the direction of B.T. McNicholl.

"'Shrek' meets Twelfth Night meets 'Monty Python' in this deliciously fractured fairy tale about an overly romantic fair Prince and the dark-skinned beauty he knows only as a Moorish serving girl," according to the Prince. "Set in 12th century France, this tongue-in-cheek romantic adventure brims with madcap chases, sword fighting, kidnapping, and the hilarious comic turns of the wise-cracking sidekick Valere. Like all good fairy tales, this one ends happily – just barely. But not before the young hero and heroine find ways to overcome intolerance, mischief, and selfishness."

Called "a musical for all generations," Chasing Nicolette promises "smart, multi-layered lyrics that will entrance the adults, plenty of romance and medieval battles to engage the younger set, and a glorious score that will send you out singing." It plays Dec. 4-Jan. 2, 2005.

Einstein's Dreams was heard in a number of New York City readings in recent years with Tom Beckett in the title role. The show gets its European premiere in Portugal in January 2005. Prince offers the American premiere Feb. 26-March 20, 2005.

"When you’re in love, time stands still…and speeds up and slows down and even comes to a halt," according to the announcement. "Young Albert (Einstein, of course) meets an utterly fascinating woman — in his dreams! She's tantalizing and remote, a stranger and an old friend, and he pursues her through fantasies and fevers. Somehow he comes up with this notion that time is — well, you know, relative."

The show "has a score that is lilting, witty, full of waltzes and romance and conjures a theatrical event from the dreams of Einstein as he conceived his Theory of Relativity, in 1905."

Majorie Samoff is Prince's producing artistic director. For more information, visit www.princemusictheater.org.