First came the readings, now comes the production. The Prince And The Pauper, a new musical by Neil Berg and librettists Bernie Garzia and Jonathan Powers (based on the Mark Twain novel) held two readings, Sept. 23, that featured such Broadway performers as the matinee Jekyll/Hyde, Robert Evan; Christiane Noll and Leah Hocking (also from J&H), Titanic's John Bolton, Alex Santoriello (Chess) and Danny Zolli (International and National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar).
Producer James Marino told Playbill On-Line the invited-guests readings brought people down from PACE Theatrical Group, Nickelodeon and the Mackintosh office, as well as other independent producers. (This, despite a flu bug that hit nearly all the performers and temporarily hospitalized one.)
Auditions got underway, Sept. 25-26, and rehearsals followed, Oct. 27, for Marino and Leftfield Productions to bring the show to Queens Theatre In The Park (Q-TIP), Nov. 28-30. The aforementioned Santoriello, Sager and Zolli are all in the Queens cast, as are Brian Sutherland (1776), Ken Main and Elizabeth Beyer.
Although two children are central characters, the show is not children's theatre, per se. The plot concerns 12-year-old Edward, prince of England, who trades places with flat-broke Tom Canty. The music uses "the style of contemporary musical theatre."
Director Ray Roderick founded the Tri-State Center for the arts and served as its artistic director for seven years. John Glaudini serves as musical director, PJ Terranova as choreographer. A graduate of the BMI Workshop, composer Berg won a Back Stage Bistro cabaret award for his revue, Asylum Of The Night. Author and co lyricist Garzia's previous musicals include The Super, Fantastic, Magical Adventures of Bob and Guess Who Signed The Constitution.
For more information on The Prince And The Pauper, call Q-TIP at (718) 760-0064, or try their website at www.prince-and-pauper.com.
Pauper has already played, in March, at Upstate NY's Irvington Town Hall Theatre but has since gone through rewrites.
Songs in the developing show include Twilight, Rain, Foo Foo The First and Simple Man.
Asked about the future of Prince, assistant producer Caralyn Spector said (Sept. 10) "There'll be further readings in December. Then we'll see what happens."