Two new musicals, Oscar nominee Baz Lurhmann's interpretation of La Boheme and Stephen Schwartz's latest, Wicked, will premiere in the City by the Bay during the Best of Broadway 2002-03 season, which also includes tours of top shows like The Producers, Some Like It Hot, The Graduate and 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner Topdog/Underdog.
La Boheme is film director Luhrmann's first theatrical venture in the U.S. Rent producers McCollum and Seller, along with Emanuel Azenberg and Luhrmann's own company, will bring the opera to Broadway after San Francisco. The original story (and the Rent rock opera) involves a young woman who approaches her artistic upstairs neighbor to light her candle, after which they fall deeply and tragically in love. The opera's Mimi is a seamstress and Rudolpho's bohemian companions are a painter, a musician and a philosopher. Lurhmann staged a hit La Boheme at the Sydney Opera House in 1990.
La Boheme will play the Curran Theatre in fall 2002. The updated opera is expected at the Broadway Theatre for Nov. 21 previews and an opening Dec. 8.
Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire ("Lost," "Confessions of a Wicked Stepsister"), which purports to tell the true story of "Oz"'s Wicked Witch of the West. Schwartz, creator of the hits "Godspell" and "Pippin," is writing the score with a book by Winnie Holzman. In recent New York readings, Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) played Glinda, the Good Witch, with Idina Menzel of Rent as her polar opposite, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.
Wicked makes its world premiere at the Orpheum in spring, 2003. Some Like It Hot, set to star the film's Tony Curtis as the lecherous millionaire Osgood Fielding III, will play in fall 2002 at the Golden Gate Theatre. Director-choreographer Dan Siretta helms this revision of Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's 1972 Broadway musical comedy, Sugar. Retitled Some Like It Hot, the cross-dressing comedy boasts a new libretto by the original book writer, Peter Stone.
Mel Brooks' The Producers is expected in spring 2003 at the Golden Gate Theatre. The road company has not been officially cast and the producers of The Producers have been quoted as saying there will be no stars on the national tour. Lewis Stadlen has been mentioned, but not confirmed, as Max Bialystock.
Topdog/Underdog may have seemed like an unlikely touring production until April 8 when the two-man drama netted the Pulitzer Prize. Best of Broadway's co-producer Carole Shorenstein Hays is a co producer on Topdog and will bring this tale of sibling rivalry between two African-American brothers named Lincoln and Booth to the Curran in winter 2003.
In summer 2003, the as-yet-uncast The Graduate will play the Curran. A critical flop, the stage adaptation of the 1967 film has been an audience hit in London, in a pre-Broadway tour and on Broadway, where Kathleen Turner is Mrs. Robinson.
Another Shorenstein Hays' production, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife will kick off the official Broadway in San Francisco season Aug. 13 at the Curran Theatre. The upcoming tour of 42nd Street will end it in summer 2003.
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