Captains Courageous, the Rudyard Kipling-based musical about life on the high seas, comes ashore Feb. 16, starring Treat Williams and Brandon Espinoza. The show began previews Jan. 12 on Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage I mainstage.
Williams, known for the films "Prince of the City" and "Hair," and Broadway productions of Over Here, Pirates of Penzance and Grease, plays the Portuguese fisherman, Manuel, who rescues Harvey Cheyne (Espinoza), a rich industrialist's son, from drowning and teaches him about friendship and responsibility.
The 16-member cast sing a score Patrick Cook (lyrics and book) and Frederick Freyer (music) under the direction of MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow.
According to Sony Classical spokesperson Rachelle Schlosser, the company will release the score on CD April 6 (pushed back from a previously announced March 30).
The staging is the New York premiere following a production at the Goodspeed Opera House's Norma Terris Theatre. The musical is based on the Kipling source as well as the motion picture of the same name. Musical staging is by Jerry Mitchell, whose choreography credits include the Broadway revival of Grease, Off-Broadway's Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the national tour of Jekyll & Hyde and the dawning Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, with musical direction by Robert Gustafson. Designers are Derek McLane (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Otts Munderloh (sound).
Cook and Freyer have been writing musicals together for more than 10 years. Their musical, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, was commissioned by Ford's Theatre. Their new musical, 97 Orchard Street, is in development.
Treat Williams' other film roles include "The Devil's Own," "1941," "Once Upon a Time in America" and "Mulholland Falls." On TV, he was Stanley Kowalski opposite Ann-Margret in ABC's "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Espinoza has appeared on Broadway in Big, Les Miserables and The Will Rogers Follies. He is currently a student at the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts.
Meadow's directorial work includes Leslie Ayvazian's Nine Armenians, Donald Margulies' The Loman Family Picnic, A Small Family Business (Broadway); Absent Friends, Woman in Mind (Drama Desk nomination), Lee Blessing's Eleemosynary and many other plays.
MTC Stage I is at City Center, 131 West 55th St. (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues). Tickets are $50. Call (212) 581-1212.
Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi recently finished its embattled run on the mainstage, while The Memory Of Water closes Dec. 6 on the Second Stage. Athol Fugard's The Captain's Tiger begins previews in the latter space Dec. 17 for a Jan. 5, 1999 opening.
-- By Kenneth Jones