Still Going the Distance: Princesses Musical Gets NYC Reading March 9

News   Still Going the Distance: Princesses Musical Gets NYC Reading March 9 Princesses, the Broadway-bound musical comedy inspired by — but reinventing — the youth novel, "A Little Princess," gets a Manhattan reading March 9 under the direction of Christopher Ashley.

The private industry reading at Dodger Stages will test changes in the material since its developmental productions by Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut in 2004 and at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre in 2005 (billed as the world premiere).

The reading cast includes Tom Hewitt (The Rocky Horror Show, Dracula), Donna English (Ruthless!) and Mamma Mia! alumna Jenny Fellner; the ladies have been associated with the project since 2004.

Princesses has a book by Emmy Award winners Bill and Cheryl Steinkellner ("Cheers"), music by Grammy Award winner Matthew Wilder (Disney's "Mulan"), and conception and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Zippel (City of Angels, "Mulan").

The commercial producers shepherding the show are Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley (Thoroughly Modern Millie and Fiddler on the Roof).

Set in a private girls' school, where a musical of Francis Hodgson Burnett's "A Little Princess" is being staged, the show's reading features Hewitt as Hollywood star Kevin Finch, Jenny Fellner as his student daughter Miranda Finch and Donna English as the school's music teacher Ms. Nibbey. The reading cast includes Sierra Bogess, Andrew Call, Patrick Garner, Trisha Jeffrey, Sarah Jayne Jenson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Anne Letscher, Courtney Laine Mazza, Moeisha McGill, Lindsay Mendez, Patti Murin, Anisha Nagarajan, Olivia Oguma, Marissa Perry, Jaqui Polk, Kelly Stensland.

Orchestrations are by Bruce Coughlin; vocal arrangements and additional orchestrations are by Matthew Wilder; musical direction is by Lynne Shankel; dance arrangements are by David Chase; and incidental music, song and additional vocal arrangements are by Lynne Shankel.

Ashley, who was Tony Award-nominated for staging The Rocky Horror Show, and recently helmed Broadway's All Shook Up, is new to the project. Zippel directed the two earlier productions.

No timetable has been announced for the Broadway bow. Given the popularity of girl-friendly shows such as Wicked and Mamma Mia!, the pop-filled Princesses would seem to have some potential in the commercial market.

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