This is the latest revision of the intimate musical first seen in the mid-1990s and borrowing famous and trunk songs by the Academy Award-winning songwriter ("Colors of the Wind," "When You Believe").
With a book by David Stern ("Geppetto"), music and lyrics by Schwartz, direction by Ken Sawyer (Lovelace: A Rock Opera), musical staging by Karl Christian and musical supervision and arrangements by Steve Orich (Tony-nominated orchestrator of Jersey Boys), the musical will run at Northlight Theatre Sept. 16-Oct. 23.
Snapshots will open the 2010-11 season at the suburban Chicago theatre, artistic director BJ Jones and managing director Timothy J. Evans announced on Feb. 16. The remainder of the season will be announced soon.
Here's how Northlight characterizes Snapshots: "Blending together some of the best-loved music with some of the genuinely wonderful lesser known gems of renowned Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, this touching romantic comedy exposes a marriage at a crossroads. Newly adapted, this musical reveals the humorous twists and unexpected turns of a middle-aged couple's reminiscence of how love brought them together and why life pushed them apart."
Schwartz "has rewritten many of the lyrics to even the most familiar songs, to stay true to the fascinating story and characters of this new work." Relevant Theatricals and Cardboard Belt Productions have been developing this project for the past several years and recently worked on the show with David Stern, Stephen Schwartz and the creative team in preparation for its Chicago premiere.
Earlier versions of Snapshots were seen in 2008 at TheatreWorks in California; in 2007 by Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, OH; and in 2005 by Village Theatre in Washington state. An even earlier version of the show was presented in 1996 in a Virginia Stage Company production in Norfolk, VA.
Northlight's BJ Jones said in a statement, "Snapshots is the next step in Northlight's ongoing dedication to new work and long-standing commitment to new musicals, including the world premieres of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, A Marvelous Party, Studs Terkel's 'The Good War,' and most recently, Daddy Long Legs."
Schwartz has written music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, Children of Eden and Wicked. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son, Pinocchio. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's "Enchanted" as well as the animated features "Pocahontas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature "The Prince of Egypt." His first opera, Seance on a Wet Afternoon, premiered with Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009 and will be presented by New York City Opera in April.
Book writer Stern began his career working on the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Nick & Nora and Big. He wrote the plays Dreams & Stuff and Finders of Lost Luggage. He also wrote for NPR's "The 1990s Radio Hour and a Half" and penned TV and film projects including "Geppetto" for "The Wonderful World of Disney" (nominated for four Emmy Awards), "Open Season 2" (nominated for an Annie Award), "Open Season 3" as well as the upcoming "The Hotel Transylvania" and "Henry & Me." He recently finished the stage adaptation of "Geppetto" entitled My Son, Pinocchio, and is currently writing and producing "Turkeys," an animated feature starring Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson (due in theatres Thanksgiving 2012).