The Star-Ledger reports that the New Jersey theatre will launch its season with Stephen Schwartz's 1971 rock musical Godspell. The musical, which features a book by John-Michael Tebelak and the hit tune "Day By Day," will play the Paper Mill Sept. 20-Oct. 22.
The musical version of Frank Capra's A Wonderful Life will follow, playing Nov. 8-Dec. 17. The musical, which was recently presented as a one-night benefit by the Actors' Fund of America, features book and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by the late Joe Raposo with additional music by Harnick and Jerry Depuit. Like the motion picture, the musical concerns the life of Bedford Falls resident George Bailey as he learns how those around him would be affected had he never existed.
Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke — a co-production with Hartford Stage — will play the New Jersey venue Jan. 10-Feb. 11, 2007. Michael Wilson, who is the artistic director of Hartford Stage, will direct the 1948 drama about the heartbreak of an aging woman.
Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill's associate artistic director, will helm Romance/Romance, a 1988 Tony nominee for Best Musical. The show, which is set in Vienna (Act 1) and the Hamptons (Act 2), features music by Keith Herrmann and a book and lyrics by Barry Harman. Romance will be offered Feb. 28-April 1.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which lasted 15 previews and 5 regular performances on Broadway in 1982, will be performed April 11-May 13. Based on the 1954 movie of the same name, the musical features songs from the Johnny Mercer-Gene DePaul film score as well as new tunes penned by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. This production will play Houston's Theatre Under the Stars prior to its Paper Mill engagement. The Paper Mill season will conclude with Pirates!, June 6-July 15. Gordon Greenberg, now represented Off-Broadway with the revival of Jacques Brel, will helm Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, but his inspiration will be the recent "Pirates of the Caribbean" film. Goodspeed Opera House will first present this production in the fall.
The Paper Mill Playhouse is located on Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. Renewal subscriptions are now on sale by calling (973) 376-4343 or by visiting www.papermill.org. New subscriptions will go on sale May 29; single tickets will be available Aug. 7.