The producers of the Don Schlitz-Ken Ludwig musical, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, based on the Mark Twain novel, have confirmed that the show will open on Broadway at the Nederlander's Minskoff Theatre on April 26. Tom Sawyer comes to Broadway after an initial run at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT.
Saturday Night Fever, the musical inspired by the hit Robert Stigwood film of the same title, will close at the Minskoff on Dec. 30. The news came the same day as the Tom Sawyer announcement. Fever will have run 35 previews and 500 performances. The show opened on Broadway Oct. 21, 1998, after previews which began Sept. 28. [See separate story]
As reported earlier, casting remains to be finalized for Tom Sawyer and an announcement is expected in the near future. A recent Theatrical Index names John Dossett, Beth Fowler, Kevin Gray, Brian d'Arcy James, John Christopher Jones and Linda Purl as possible members of the cast.
Actors comprising the ad hoc "recording session cast" for the new musical gathered at the Edison Studio on Oct. 28 to record a CD sampler of the new show. The following list of recording session performers is believed to offer some insight to the future make up of the Tom Sawyer cast. Present on Oct. 28 to contribute to the recording of the CD sampler were:
Tom Sawyer: Joshua Park
Aunt Polly: Linda Purl
Dobbins: John Christopher Jones
Sprague: Tommy Hollis
Sid Sawyer: Marshall Pailet
Becky Thatcher: Kristen Bell
Judge Thatcher: John Dossett
Pap/Doc: Stephen Lee Anderson
Widow Douglas: Beth Fowler
Sherriff: Gregg Rainwater
Bellamy: Richard Poe
Wain: Michael McCormick
The Girls: Ann Brown, Elan, Nikki James, Kate Reinders Mekenzie Rosen-Stone
The Boys: Michael Burton, Alex Boyd, Pierce Cravens, Joe Gallagher,Blake Hackler, Tommar Wilson
The Townsfolk: Stephen Lee Anderson, Stacia Fernandez, Tommy Hollis, Donna Lee Marshall, Michael McCormick, Amy Jo Phillips, Richard Poe, Gregg Rainwater, Sally Wilfert Tom Sawyer composer and lyricist Don Sachlitz is a two-time Grammy Award winner and established country songwriter with fifty Top Ten hits, 24 Number One records and four ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year awards to his credit. Among Schlitz' numerous songs is the hit, "The Gambler."
Ken Ludwig (Crazy for You, Lend Me a Tenor) wrote the book for Tom Sawyer, which is being directed by Scott Ellis (1776, She Loves Me, Company). Choreography for the show is by David Marques, set design by Heidi Ettinger, costume design by Anthony Powell, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, music direction by Paul Gemignani and orchestrations are by Michael Starobin.
Tickets for the New Haven run range from $28-$60. Various subscription rates are available for the Shubert theatre's season. The Shubert Performing Arts Center is located at 247 College Street in New Haven, CT. The Minskoff is located at 200 W. 45 St.