The Spitfire Grill, the Fred Alley-James Valcq musical based on the film of the same name, is starting to really cook following its George Street Playhouse and Playwrights Horizons stagings in 2000-2001.
Composer James Valcq told Playbill On-Line that three separate productions are expected in November at Apple Tree in Chicago, Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach CA, and by Buffalo Gal Productions in Minneapolis.
This fall, the warm musical drama about a female ex convict who relocates to a tiny Wisconsin town and lifts the hamlet out of its emotional morass, makes its Midwest debut at Skylight Opera Theatre in Milwaukee, the hometown of its authors. The Wisconsin staging is co-produced by Skylight Opera and American Folklore Theatre (the late Alley was a resident artist with AFT; he died before he could see the Off-Broadway debut of his show by Playwrights Horizons, which funded a cast album).
The seven-actor show plays the Skylight Sept. 20-Oct. 6 prior to playing upstate at AFT in Door County. Garrett Long, who originated the role of Percy, landed the role of Gertrude in the national tour of Seussical and won't be part of the Midwest debut, but Valcq said Kate Wetherhead (Sarah, Plain and Tall) will play the role. Phyllis Somerville will play Hannah, the crusty owner of the Spitfire, as she did for Playwrights Horizons in fall 2001. Additional casting has not been announced.
The Florida debut of The Spitfire Grill continues at Florida Stage in Manalapan, FL, to Sept. 1. — By Kenneth Jones