South Coast Repertory will present songwriter Randy Newman's new musical, The Education of Randy Newman, May 26, 2000. The piece, a through-sung work conceived by Newman, composer-arranger Michael Roth and dramaturg Jerry Patch will run through July 2, 2000. Myron Johnson will direct. The story, using Henry Adams' turn-of-the century book, "The Education of Henry Adams," as its model, follows a Newmanesque Everyman from childhood in Louisiana to his arrival and adult years in Los Angeles.
According to a source close to the workshop, the piece will have an operatic style, yet incorporate such Newman standards as "Dixie Flyer," "Follow The Flag," "Jolly Coppers on Parade," "Roll With The Punches," "Love Story," "Rednecks," "Birmingham," "Louisiana 1927" and "Kingfish."
The musical had a four-day workshop at South Coast in April 1999. Performers who took part in the workshop include Billy Porter, Kathleen Wilhoite, Jennifer Leigh Warren, Paul McCrane (Roundabout's The Country Girl), Gregory Jbara (Damn Yankees, Victor/Victoria), Cortes Alexander and Sherry Hursey. A cast for the production has not been announced.
Composer Newman has also written film scores for "Ragtime," "The Natural" and "Toy Story" and has recorded many pop albums including "Sail Away," "Twelve Songs" and "Land of Dreams."
Newman's previous musical, Faust, has seen several incarnations at such venues as La Jolla Playhouse, in 1995, and the Goodman Theatre, in 1996. Michael Greif directed both productions. The Kennedy Center planned to mount a new version of it in February 2000, but those plans fell through. --By Robert Simonson