Bean will be the evening's celebrity reader, reading Ezra Jack Keats' children's book, "The Trip," on which the new musical is based.
Previews for Captain Louie, the family musical that played a limited engagement in May at the York Theatre Company, began at Off Broadway's Little Shubert Theatre Oct. 28. The musical features a score by Schwartz, a libretto by Anthony Stein and direction by Meridee Stein. The Off-Broadway run is being produced by Stein, Kurt Peterson and Bob Reich.
"Young Louie," according to production notes, "feels lonely and without friends in his new neighborhood. Looking for something to cheer himself up on Halloween Night, Louie returns to his old neighborhood in an imaginative journey on the wings of his magical toy, his little red plane. . . . Captain Louie is about friendship — the ability to make new friends and the importance of old ones."
Captain Louie features choreography by Joshua Bergasse, musical direction by Ray Fellman, costume design by Elizabeth Flauto, scenic design by Jeff Subik and multi-media design by Josh White. The cast comprises Douglas Fabian as Louie, Sara Kapner as Amy/Broom, Katelyn Pippy as Roberta/Mouse, Paul Pontrelli as Ziggy, Ricky Smith as Archie and Ronny Mercedes as Julio with Ryan Appleby, Rachel Cantor, Larry Hamilton, Noemi Del Rio and Remy Zaken.
Stephen Schwartz, a Dramatists Guild council member, composed the scores for Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, Rags, The Baker's Wife and Children of Eden. He has also written for several film musicals, including "Pocahontas," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "The Prince of Egypt" and the TV musical "Geppetto." His solo CDs of new songs are titled "Reluctant Pilgrim" and "Uncharted Territory." Schwartz is the recipient of three Academy Awards, three Grammy Awards and three Drama Desk Awards. Wicked currently plays Broadway's Gershwin Theatre. Captain Louie plays Wednesdays at 11 AM and 2 PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 7 PM, Saturdays at 3 and 7 PM and Sundays at 2 and 5 PM. Tickets, priced at $45 (adults) and $29.50 (for children under 16 and students), are available by calling (212) 239-6200.
The Little Shubert Theatre is located in Manhattan at 422 West 42nd Street.
The world-premiere cast recording of Captain Louie is currently available on the PS Classics label and will hit stores around the country Nov. 1; visit www.psclassics.com for more information.