Goodman artistic director Robert Falls will replace David Petrarca as director of the world-premiere musical The Boys Are Coming Home — by songwriter Leslie Arden and librettist Rebecca Gilman — which begins previews June 21, 2008, and opens June 30. Petrarca "has film and TV work pending" — including the film version of the regionally popular David Lindsay-Abaire play, Fuddy Meers.
Oz Scott will replace Kate Whoriskey as director of the world premiere of The Ballad of Emmett Till by Chicago playwright Ifa Bayeza. The poetry-and-jazz-infused drama begins previews April 26, 2008, and opens May 5.
The Ballad of Emmett Till is billed this way by Goodman Theatre: "The brutal murder of Emmett Till is believed by many to be the start of the modern civil rights movement of the 1950s and remains one of the most pivotal incidents in a monumental era. This world premiere, part history and part ghost story, is a jazz integration of past and present, living and dead, factual accounts and creative interpolation. Chicago author Ifa Bayeza captures the powerful truths at the heart of the story, creating a soaring work of music, vibrant poetry and theatricality."
The Ballad of Emmett Till was developed in Goodman Theatre's 2006 New Stages Series as well as at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's 2007 National Playwrights Conference. Bayeza has received a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays fellowship, and has received numerous awards including two National Endowment for the Arts Creation Grants.
The Boys Are Coming Home, with music and lyrics by Leslie Arden and book by Rebecca Gilman, merges swing and bebop "in this gloriously captivating musical set in the tumultuous, anything-can-happen post-World War II era," according to Goodmam. "When the troops, led by a gregarious lady's man, return home they encounter a world whose rules (and women) are now very different. Romantic and poetic, hilarious and earthy, The Boys Are Coming Home is a tuneful celebration of a society on the eve of an exciting new era, where nothing is what it was and everything is possible." Leslie Arden is the composer/lyricist/co-book writer of the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning The House of Martin Guerre, which premiered at the Goodman in 1996. Rebecca Gilman's play Dollhouse — directed by Robert Falls — was most recently seen at the Goodman in 2005.
For more information, visit www.goodmantheatre.org.