Adventures in Love is the name of a new musical dawning in previews at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts April 4, ushering springtime romance into St. Paul, MN.
Mark Waldrop (Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly) directs the musical exploration and celebration of modern romance. An ensemble of six tackles multiple roles, singing the work of composer Zina Goldrich and lyricist Marcy Heisler. The comic libretto is by Shari Simpson and Charlie Shanian.
This Ordway "original," created and staged exclusively for the Ordway (in the center's 322-seat McKnight space), offers the debut of such songs as "Beautiful You," "Apathetic Man," "Revenge," "The Morning After" and "We Remember Love."
Performances continue to May 28. Official opening is April 11.
Considering the runaway success of the intimate, modern-relationships musical, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, it's certain that New York producers will prick up their ears and listen for laughs and melody from St. Paul. Kevin McCollum, a Rent producer, is president of the Ordway. The company includes Kevin R. Free, Ellie Grosso, Timothy Gulan, Kendra Kassebaum, Jennifer Prescott and Bernie Yvon.
Designers are Rick Polenek (set), Sonya Berlovitz (costume), Wm. P. Healey (lighting) and Chris Heagle (sound). Orchestrations are by Robert Elhai and David Lohman is music director and conductor.
Director Waldrop recently directed Bette Midler's millennium tour. He directed Off-Broadway and Los Angeles stagings of Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly, for which he also wrote book and lyrics. Goldrich conducted Titanic on Broadway and composed for Disney animation and for programs on the major TV networks. Heisler wrote lyrics for "Joseph's Lullaby" on Michael Crawford's album, "On Eagle's Wings." Both writers have won awards for their songs heard in Manhattan cabarets. Their collaborations include The Girl Most Likely To... and Dear Edwina.
Tickets are $30-$40. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is at 345 Washington St., in St. Paul, MN. For information, call (651) 224-4222 or try the web at www.ordway.com.
Adventures in Love was made possible with funding from the $7 million Ruth Easton Fund, the earnings from which are used exclusively to support new works by Ordway Center.
-- By Kenneth Jones