NY Reading Planned for Musical Co-Written by "Frozen" Songwriter

News   NY Reading Planned for Musical Co-Written by "Frozen" Songwriter
 
Christopher Gattelli, who earned a Tony Award for his athletic choreography for Newsies, and who earned another Tony nomination earlier this week for The King and I, is scheduled to direct and choreograph an industry reading of the in-development musical In Transit May 7 and 8.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Kristen Anderson-Lopez Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

In Transit features a book, music and lyrics by Academy Award winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez ("Frozen"), in collaboration with James-Allen Ford, Russell Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth.

The story is described thus: "Inspired by the vibrant rhythms and sounds of life on the subway, In Transit follows the intertwining journeys of an aspiring actress, a fledgling financier, a street-savvy beatboxer, a cab driver, and others as they find their way in New York City."

In Transit was originally produced Off-Broadway in the fall of 2010 by Primary Stages at 59E59. The limited-run engagement was awarded the 2011 Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Ensemble.”

The invitation-only presentation features a cast led by Lindsay Mendez (Wicked), Erin Mackey (Chaplin) and Ben Crawford (Shrek), along with Ryan Andes, Moya Angela, Adam Bashian, Colin Hanlon, Justin Keyes, Lulu Picart, Jamila Sabares-Klemm and Chesney Snow.

Lead producer on the reading is Janet B. Rosen. Readings like these are held generally to give the creative team a chance to see a new show on its feet, and to "audition" the show for potential investors. *
Anderson-Lopez is also working on Up Here, another new Broadway-bound musical comedy with book, music and lyrics written with her Tony- and Oscar-winning husband Robert Lopez, has already been announced as part of La Jolla Playhouse's 2015-16 season.

As previously reported by Playbill.com, two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers, whose work includes Broadway's Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Pee-wee Herman Show and the imaginative staging of Peter and the Starcatcher, will direct the project.

Up Here is being presented at La Jolla by special arrangement with Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions; along with Victor Alvarez and Sally Horchow International Productions.

Variety reports that Sanders  is eyeing a Broadway bow for Up Here.

"Up Here is one of those rare original musical comedies," Sanders said in a statement issued to Playbill.com. "As you can imagine with the Lopezes, it is witty, it is wicked smart, it is irreverent, and it's youthful in its energy. Up Here will appeal to a broad audience but it certainly will be something that even Millennials will relate to. Some of the characters are written in one of the protagonist's imagination and it's going to allow for some creative staging — so, of course, nobody's better at that than Alex Timbers."

"Bobby Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Alex Timbers are the new musical theatre rock stars of this generation," said Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley in a statement. "We're tremendously excited to collaborate with them on developing this extraordinarily witty and wonderful piece that taps into the zeitgeist of Millennials everywhere."

Here's how La Jolla bills the new musical: "Dan is an ordinary guy with a boring social life, an unused gym membership and a lot going on upstairs. When he finds a potential spark with Lindsay, his attempts at love are jeopardized by his chaotic subconscious mind. Academy Award-winning composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez team up with acclaimed writer/director Alex Timbers to create this new musical comedy about moving past ourselves – and those little voices in our head - to find happiness."

For more information, visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org.

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