Porter's The Pirate to Premiere at Philly's Prince in 2005-06; Dreamgirls, Bright Lights, Einstein's Dreams Announced

News   Porter's The Pirate to Premiere at Philly's Prince in 2005-06; Dreamgirls, Bright Lights, Einstein's Dreams Announced Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia will stage two world premieres in 2005-06, including Cole Porter's The Pirate, inspired by the M-G-M film of the same name, and Einstein's Dreams, a musical based on the best-selling book.

Dreamgirls will sing during the holidays, and a visit by Laurie Anderson is expected come 2006. A revised version of Off-Broadway's Bright Lights, Big City ends the season in spring 2006.

Off-Broadway's The Musical of Musicals — The Musical! will also make its Philadelphia premiere in the coming season.

The Prince schedule begins Sept. 8 with the East Coast premiere of Vox Lumiere: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, an "entertainment experience" that "combines music, film and theatre to thrillingly retell a timeless movie masterpiece," according to the announcement. "In a reinvention of silent film, Vox Lumiere combines the power of the orchestra with pop songs and high energy rock and roll. Multi-level staging, light show, singers and band all weave together with the projected film to create a hip, exciting and highly-entertaining performance."

Albert Innaurato, the playwright of Gemini who adapted his famous work to the musical stage for Prince, will serve as librettist for Einstein's Dreams. No songwriters have been announced for the project.

Based on the book by Alan Lightman, the musical will play March 4-26, 2006. This is not to be confused with the Josh Rosenblum-Joanne Sydney Lessner musical version of the work, seen in development over several seasons in New York. Prince Music Theater had previously announced the Rosenblum-Lessner version to play 2004-05, but Prince artistic director Marjorie Samoff and the songwriters parted ways, and Prince held onto the source material to assemble a new team and develop its own version. "Luminous, poetic and deeply human, this new adaptation of Alan Lightman's best-selling novel imagines young Albert Einstein's dreams just before he wrote his special 'Theory of Relativity.'" according to the Prince announcement. "The Prince brings to the stage an evocative fable which explores the essence of time, the adventure of creativity, the glory of possibility and the intoxication of love."

The Pirate (May 6-28, 2006) borrows plot elements and Cole Porter songs from the 1948 Judy Garland-Gene Kelly movie of the same name.

The book and new lyrics are by David Levy and Zack Manna, with new music by Brad Ross (Little by Little).

It's billed as "an irresistible musical romance about an innocent young woman who fantasizes about being kidnapped by a dashing pirate, despite an impending arranged marriage." The score will include Porter's "I Concentrate on You" and "Be a Clown."

Bright Lights, Big City (June 14-July 2, 2006) has music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman, drawing on the best-selling novel by Jay McInerney. New York Theatre Workshop staged an earlier version of the show, and the revised version (expected at the Prince) was recorded by an all-star cast for a world premiere recording to be released June 21 on the Sh-K-Boom label.

"A uniquely moving and touching coming-of-age story, Bright Lights, Big City is set against the backdrop of the excessive yet glossy chaos of the 1980s," according to the Prince. "Composer Paul Scott Goodman has created a pop and rock-infused score that generates a strong musical heartbeat for the hit novel and movie of the same name."

The Musical of Musicals, the spoof of five musical-theatre songwriting styles (Kander & Ebb, Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Rodgers & Hammerstein), with music by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by Joanne Bogart, book by Rockwell and Bogart, plays Oct. 1-30.

Dreamgirls, the Motown girl-group musical with music by Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tom Eyen, plays Dec. 3-31.

Laurie Anderson's The End of the Moon, a solo work conceived and performed by Anderson, plays Feb. 2-4, 2006.

"This signature piece combines stories, songs and music in a low-tech setting to create an ambitiously large picture of contemporary American culture," according to Prince. "NASA's first artist-in-residence draws on her recent research and travels to look at the relationships between war, esthetics, spirituality and consumerism. Anecdotal and wide ranging and epic, The End of the Moon also features Anderson's new music for violin and electronics."

Cabaret performers expected at Upstairs in the Independence Foundation Black Box at Prince include Christine Andreas, KT Sullivan, Mark Nadler, Karen Mason and Paula West.

For more information about Prince Music Theater, visit www.princemusictheater.org.