Philly's Prince Plans Three Premieres and a Re-Imagined Annie Get Your Gun; Uggams Sings Horne

News   Philly's Prince Plans Three Premieres and a Re-Imagined Annie Get Your Gun; Uggams Sings Horne Leslie Uggams will star in a new musical tribute to Lena Horne, Stormy Weather, in the 2006-07 season of Philadelphia's Prince Music Theater.

The new season will also include Annie Get Your Gun, Hair, the intimate new Paul Scott Goodman musical called Tiny Dancer, and a newly commissioned hip-hop musical, From Tha Hip.

The season will begin Sept. 19 with the world premiere of From Tha Hip, by Philadelphia's Clyde Evans, Jr., and the local band Subliminal Orphans.

"Commissioned and developed by the Prince, this exhilarating dance show, directed by AUDELCO Award-Winner Rajendra Maharaj, explores the life of a youth from Trinidad who finds a way to connect with American culture through Hip-Hop," according to Prince. The production will feature Chosen Dance Company.

The season continues in October with a three-month celebration of the life and work of songwriter Irving Berlin. KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler bring to the Alter Mainstage their two-act show Always: The Love Story of Irving Berlin, Oct. 18-29, "exploring through music the life story of this great American composer>" The Prince will release the cast album of this new show, under the company’s new record label, Triple R Records.

Speakers, films, and panels related to Irving Berlin will be offered in the fall as well. (Nadler and Sullivan will also offer five performances of their Cole Porter show, A Swell Party: R.S.V.P Cole Porter, Nov. 1-5.)

Capping off the Berlin Celebration, the Prince will produce a fresh take on the Berlin masterpiece, Annie Get Your Gun. "Using the original book, the Prince production will look at this amazing piece of Americana about a poor, young misfit named Annie Oakley," the Prince announced. "While learning to shoot to feed her family, she is adopted by…Native Americans, and she somehow goes on to find both fame and love in a man's world."

Richard M. Parison, Jr., Prince's associate artistic director, will direct, and Philadelphia favorite Jeffrey Coon will star as Frank Butler.

Glamorous Lena Horne, the famed singer-actress, is the subject of Stormy Weather (Feb. 10-March 4, 2007), a world premiere musical by Sharleen Cooper Cohen. It "explores the challenges, the defeats and the ultimate triumphs of this great woman, in a singing and dancing production that will bring Tony Award-winner Leslie Uggams to Philadelphia for her Prince debut." The show is suggested by "Lena Horne, Entertainer," by Leslie Palmer.

A showcase for Lena Horne’s greatest hits by composers including Harold Arlen, Billy Strayhorn, and more, the premiere is directed by Michael Bush. It will be the Prince's entry in the Philadelphia New Play Festival, sponsored by the Theater Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

"The adventures of a Scottish Jewish immigrant is the starting point for a modern glimpse at an unlikely immigrant story" in Tiny Dancer (March 14-April 1, 2007), a world premiere by Paul Scott Goodman, whose Bright Lights, Big City was seen at the Prince recently.

According to the Prince, "It isn't easy being married to an artist! Just ask composer Paul Scott Goodman. It's even harder when the artist is a Scottish Orthodox Jew who loves heavy rock-n-roll. This autobiographical rock musical chronicles the journey of a man, a woman, their baby, their art and their love. Paul came to America to write songs and get famous; he was soon waiting tables hoping for the best and fighting with customers. Not many tips for Paul. One night a fight was refereed by a beautiful actress, who was, of course, waiting tables on the same shift, and over the mustard, they fell in love."

The book is by Paul Scott Goodman and Miriam Gordon, with music and lyrics by Goodman. It will play the Independence Foundation Black Box.

A revival of the rock musical Hair, as it nears its 40th anniversary, will play May 26–June 24, 2007.

For more information, visit www.princemusictheater.org.