The 1965 musical about a shrink who treats a chainsmoker and uncovers her paranormal gifts — and past lives — is a favorite of show-music fans for its plucky and lush score that includes "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here," "Come Back to Me," "She Wasn't You," "Melinda," "What Did I Have That I Don't Have" and the title song. A film version that starred Barbra Streisand served up freshly written numbers, some of which are expected to be in the new stage show.
Peter Parnell (QED, The Cider House Rules) is the new book writer on this revised take on the material, which was first penned by lyricist-librettist Lerner (Camelot, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon), with music by Lane ("Royal Wedding," Finian's Rainbow). The estates of the authors have agreed to the production. The musical was not based on source material.
Following a developmental workshop at the Vineyard in the fall of 2009 and a series of concert readings this summer by New York Stage and Film Company and the Powerhouse Program at Vassar in Poughkeepsie, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, "reconceived and directed by Michael Mayer," will get a full production at the Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) beginning in January 2011, Vineyard Theatre artistic director Douglas Aibel announced July 15, two weeks before the Vassar presentations (July 29-Aug. 1).
Casting and additional creative team for On a Clear Day are to be announced. Tony Award nominee Brian d'Arcy James and Tony winner Anika Noni Rose are featured in the weekend Vassar run.
Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot, Everyday Rapture) has kept mostly mum about the changes in the tale, but gender and sexuality issues are now apparently a part of the love story. [Spoiler alert here.] An earlier draft of Mayer's version had the psychoanalyst character treating a gay man and uncovering the patient's past life — a woman. The doctor falls for the past incarnation, causing comic and romantic confusion, all wrapped in rich show music. Answering an email inquiry about the rewrite, Mayer told Playbill.com on July 5, "I can't really discuss all the new writing on Clear Day, as we're still very much in process. I can say that the basic construct of the original story is the same, but the rest of it is being explored in new ways."
The not-for-profit Vineyard was the launching pad for Avenue Q, The Scottsboro Boys, [title of show], Three Tall Women, How I Learned to Drive and other works that have gone on to commercial lives.
For information about The Vineyard, visit www.vineyardtheatre.org or call (212) 353-3366.