Tresnjak Replaces Griffin as Amour Director for Goodspeed

News   Tresnjak Replaces Griffin as Amour Director for Goodspeed Goodspeed Musicals' summer production of Amour will be directed by Darko Tresnjak rather than the previously announced Gary Griffin, the Connecticut company announced.

New dates for the reconceived version of Michel Legrand's romantic Broadway musical are Aug. 11- Sept. 4, at Goodspeed's developmental space, The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.

Gary Griffin is busy in the 2005-06 season as director of the Broadway-bound musical, The Color Purple. He is also associate artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and artistic advisor to a new Chicago company called Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place.

"Set in 1950s Paris, an unassuming civil servant finds he has the uncanny ability to walk through walls," according to Goodspeed. "With this magical discovery, he finally summons the courage to confess his feelings to his beautiful love-from-afar. Meanwhile, her husband has different plans for him. But how do you lock up a man who can simply slip away? A whimsical tale to buoy your spirits. A completely musical love story!"

Tresnjak's work was last seen at Goodspeed with A Little Night Music on the Goodspeed Opera House stage.

The though-composed musical has music by Michel Legrand, French libretto by Didier van Cauwelaert and English lyrics by Jeremy Sams. The musical was adapted from Le Passe-Murraille by Marcel Aymé. Three-time Academy Award-winner and five-time Grammy Award-winner Michel Legrand has composed many memorable motion picture scores including "The Thomas Crown Affair," "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," "The Young Girls of Rochefort," "The Go-Between," "Ice Station Zebra," "Forty Carats," "The Three Musketeers," "Summer of '42" and others.

Born in Nice, France, van Cauwelaert has written 12 novels. He also writes for film, television and cartoons. He has written two other musicals with Michel Legrand, Dreyfus and L'Amour Fantome.

Sams wrote the book to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, coming to Broadway this spring. His recent translations include Becket, The Rehearsal, The Miser, Mary Stuart, Les Parents Terribles (on Broadway as Indiscretions) and A Fool and His Money. Most recently he directed the London/Broadway revival of Noises Off.

The Goodspeed production will be "reconceived" (largely with less elaborate scenery) since it played Broadway in 2002, where it folded quickly but earned Tony Award nominations and a cult following after its cast album was released.

At the Norma Terris Theatre, critics are not invited to the venue, as it's considered an incubator for still-forming shows.

Academy Award-winner Legrand is the French composer with a penchant for jazz waltzes. He is known for his haunting melodies from the film scores for "Summer of '42," "The Thomas Crown Affair," "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," "The Young Girls of Rochefort." Among the standouts in the Amour score was the sweet lament, "Other People's Stories," sung by a lonely wife in Paris.

The 2002-03 Broadway staging of Amour, produced by The Shubert Organization, Jean Doumanian Productions, Inc., and USA Ostar Theatricals, starred Malcolm Gets, Melissa Errico, Lewis Cleale, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sarah Litzsinger, Nora May Lyng, Bill Nolte and John Cunningham. The company members doubled and tripled in roles to create a sense of a large Parisian community, from newsboy to whore to office worker to painter, and more.

James Lapine directed. Orchestrations were by Legrand. Scott Pask designed the whimsical set.

The intermissionless confection ran 90 minutes and was later nominated for 2003 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Gets), Actress in a Musical (Errico), Best Book of a Musical (Sams, van Cauwelaert), Best Score (Legrand, Sams, van Cauwelaert).

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Goodspeed Musicals "is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, producing six musicals each season at the historic Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre, opened in Chester, CT., in 1984 for the development of new musicals. In addition to its onstage productions, Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater."

Visit www.goodspeed.org.