Chicago's Goodman Theatre has acquired the musical stage rights to the tales, first seen 27 years ago in serial form in the San Francisco Chronicle, and later in six novels and three TV miniseries. The musical is currently in development under the direction of Goodman artistic associate David Petrarca, whose works around the country have included Kimberly Akimbo, A Year With Frog and Toad, Fuddy Meers and Marvin's Room. A Goodman spokesperson told Playbill On-Line the creative team is being put together and no production dates have been announced. Goodman artistic director Robert Falls announced the project Dec. 20.
The tales are set in the mid-to-late 1970s and focus on the colorful and yearning residents of a boarding house run by mysterious Mrs. Madrigal. The stories would seem to have the elements that cry out for musicalization — a Midwestern girl who comes to San Francisco for a visit and decides to stay; various love stories, gay and straight; an extended collection of residents, family, friends, lovers and co-workers; comedy and tragedy; and a vibrant city in a time of earthshaking cultural change.
The not-for-profit, Tony Award-honored Goodman Theatre is where John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally's The Visit was developed (under Frank Galati's direction) in 2001 and where Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Gold! (directed by Harold Prince) will debut in June 2003.