Connecticut's Goodspeed Opera House has opened its 1998 season with a revival of the Fosse-choreographed, 1955 Tony-winner The Pajama Game, running April 1 - June 26. Richard Adler & Jerry Ross wrote Game two years before collaborating on another musical theatre classic, Damn Yankees.
Songs in the show include classics "Hernando's Hideaway" and "Steam Heat," plus a new number by Adler, "If You Win, You Lose."
The musical stars Sean McDermott and Colleen Fitzpatrick (Passion). Also in the show are Bob Walton, David Coffee, Valerie Wright, Chet Carlin, Lynn Eldredge, Mae Lyng and Casey Nicholaw. Michael O'Flaherty serves as musical director.
The Pajama Game tells the story of a romance between a union leader (McDermott) and shop superintendent (Fitzpatrick) at a midwest pajama factory. The book, by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, is based on Bissel's novel, "7 1/2 Cents." Goodspeed's production will be directed and choreographed by Greg Ganakas, who directed a national tour of Damn Yankees.
Game begins a busy 1998 summer season at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, which features Mirette, the latest musical from the team who wrote The Fantasticks; Cy Coleman's latest musical, Exactly Like You, plus another revival of a Tony winning musical originally made famous by Bob Fosse choreography: Redhead. Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt's Mirette, about a little girl who dreams of becoming a tightrope walker, and which was developed at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in 1996, will get a mainstage production in the key midsummer middle slot of the three-show season, July 1 to Sept. 18.
A song from Mirette is featured in (and provides the title for) Jones & Schmidt's current hit Off Broadway revue The Show Goes On.
Mirette has a book by Elizabeth Diggs, based on the children's book, Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully. Ten-year-old Mirette, who helps her mother run a boarding house for actors in 1890s Paris, is inspired by a former tightrope walker, The Great Bellini. In the course of the story she helps him overcome the paralyzing fear that has destroyed his career.
It's the latest work from the team that produced I Do! I Do!, 110 in the Shade, Celebration, and Off Broadway's The Fantasticks, the longest-running musical in the world (now in its 38th year).
Redhead, a rarely-revived murder mystery vehicle for Verdon that won the 1959 Best Musical Tony Award, will close the season Sept. 23 to Dec. 13.
Though Redhead won the 1959 Best Musical Tony (a year after The Music Man and a year before Fiorello!),. the vehicle for dancer Gwen Verdon has never been revived on Broadway, and rarely elsewhere. Verdon played Essie Whimple, a worker in a wax museum who tries to solve the murder of a local music hall dance while pursuing the man of her dreams.
The score, by Albert Hague and Dorothy Fields, includes "Look Who's in Love." Other Hague scores include Plain and Fancy, Cafe Crown and TV's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The book was written by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, Sidney Sheldon (the famous mystery novel author) and David Shaw.
Goodspeed's Redhead will be directed by Christopher Ashley, who staged last season's Lucky in the Rain at Goodspeed.
Also coming up at Goodspeed's second stage, the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT:
* Exactly Like You, Cy Coleman's first musical since The Life and the latest in a long eclectic line that includes Sweet Charity, Barnum, The Life and The Will Rogers Follies, will have its world premiere May 7-31.
Exactly Like You, which Coleman described as "a courtroom drama, but very funny," will have lyrics by Coleman and A.E. Hotchner, his collaborator on the short run 1980s musical Welcome to the Club, which dealt with another part of the legal system, an alimony jail.
Coleman, whose The Life won two Tony Awards in 1997 and was nominated for a Grammy Award Jan. 6, told Playbill On-Line that he's working on several projects simultaneously.
*Heart Land (July 30-Aug. 23), a new musical about "childhood dreams rekindled" when three sisters return home to their family farm. The show world premiered June 1997 at TheatreWorks of Palo Alto, CA.
This is the third collaboration for librettist/lyricist Darrah Cloud and composer Kim Sherman, following O, Pioneers! and Honor Song For Crazy Horse. Cloud's non-musical works include The Stick Wife and The Waking. Sherman wrote the musical underscoring for Broadway's Hamlet and composed the Public Theatre musical, Lenny And The Heartbreakers.
* Just So, a musical based on Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories," arrives Nov. 5-29, co-produced by British impresario Cameron Mackintosh (The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables).
With music by George Stiles, book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, Just So includes classic Kipling tales such as "How the Leopard Got His Spots," "How the Elephant Got His Trunk," "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin," and other tales, built around the coming-of-age of the Elephant Child.
Stile and Drewe collaborated previously on British musicals Warts and All, Navel Fluff and Other Trivial Pursuits and Honk!.
Stiles also wrote music for adaptations of Moll Flanders, Tom Jones, and The Three Musketeers.
For tickets to Goodspeed shows call (860) 873-8668. Previous musicals over 15 years at Goodspeed at Chester have included john & jen and Swinging on a Star.