Before their highly-anticipated, revised version of the Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents musical, Do I Hear a Waltz?, NJ's George Street Playhouse will have their Touring Theater travel to London, England to perform And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank by James Still.
Came for Me was co-commissioned and co-produced with Young Audiences of New Jersey and will be presented at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in London from June 10 - June 13.
This play strives to expand the world surrounding Anne Frank's memorable life. Came For Me is about two surviving friends of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss and Ed Silberberg. Eva and Ed "participate" on video while live actors re-enact their experiences as teenagers in hiding and in concentration camps during World War II. Last season, a slightly-revised revival of Hackett and Goodrich's The Diary of Anne Frank was one of the more acclaimed productions on Broadway.
The new version of Do I Hear A Waltz, will play on the George Street Playhouse Mainstage, Oct. 9 - Nov. 14. Artistic Director David Saint will direct. A production spokesperson told PBOL (May 25), "Arthur Laurents, David Saint and Stephen Sondheim will be completely reworking the play. Steve is talking about writing some new lyrics and adding additional lyrics for the production, but they can't go forward with decisions until Arthur [Laurents] totally rewrites the book. We're also going be brand new orchestrations, we hope." The plot of Waltz revolves around a lonely schoolteacher, Leona Samish, who splurges her life savings on a trip to Venice. Once there, she finds plenty of love and passion ... but only between other couples. Her one friend is a young boy, who shows her the city's sights and offers a sympathetic ear for her woes. Finally, she meets the man of her dreams, an antique shop owner named Renato, with whom she falls desperately in love -- until she finds out he's married. Leona returns home with a greater understanding of love itself and fond memories of a man who taught her not to settle for less than she deserves.
The original production starred Elizabeth Allen, Carol Bruce and Sergio Franchi. Do I Hear A Waltz? is a musical adaptation of Laurents' play, The Time of the Cuckoo. Waltz marks the only collaboration between musical theatre legends Rodgers & Sondheim. Although Sondheim was nominated for a Tony for his lyrics, Waltz was the last time he wrote lyrics for someone else's music for Broadway (although he later wrote lyrics under a nom de plume to Rodgers' daughter Mary's music in an Off Broadway revue).
Sondheim had previously written lyrics for other composers, including Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story and Jule Styne on Gypsy, but he'd already had composed two musicals of his own with Anyone Can Whistle, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
-- By Sean McGrath