By Adam Hetrick
26 Oct 2009
Running Oct. 25-Nov. 7, Sundance White Oak Lab in Yulee, Florida, the musical adaptation of the 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine features a score by William Finn (Falsettos, A New Brain), with book and direction by James Lapine (Falsettos, Sunday in the Park With George).
Also being developed is the musical adaptation of Laura Esquivel's 1989 best-selling novel "Like Water for Chocolate," which has a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights), with music and lyrics by Lila Downs, additional music by Paul R. Cohen, and co-direction by Ted Sperling (The Light in the Piazza, See What I Wanna See) and Jonathan Butterell (Giant, The Light in the Piazza).
The complete cast of Little Miss Sunshine includes Etai Benschlomo, Craig Bierko (Guys & Dolls, The Music Man), Carmen Ruby Floyd (Avenue Q), Georgi James (A Tale of Two Cities), Dick Latessa (Hairspray, Cabaret), Martin Moran (The Tricky Part, Spamalot), Andrew Rannells (Jersey Boys), Eliseo Roman (In the Heights, Godspell), Sherie Rene Scott (The Little Mermaid, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Chaunteé Schuler, Sally Wilfert (Assassins, Make Me A Song) and Michael Winther (33 Variations, Songs from an Unmade Bed). Vadim Fiechtner is musical director and Will Aronson is vocal arranger.
Like Water for Chocolate features Roxanne Carrasco (Chicago), Marisa Echeverria (The Bacchae), Michelle Rios (The Capeman, Man of La Mancha), Socorro Santiago (The Bacchae), Martin Sola (Coram Boy, La Bohème) and Mariand Torres (The People Vs. Mona). Musicians collaborating on the piece are Robert Curto (accordionist), Celso Duarte (harpist) and Yayo Serka (drummer).
Like Water for Chocolate, according to Sundance, "is a romantic tale of food, magic and passion… [The musical] will be a feast for all the senses, incorporating Mexican cooking and the power of food, the magical realism of Mexican folk tales, and both contemporary and ancient theater techniques."
Playwright Sybille Pearson (Giant, Baby, Sally and Marsha) and Encores! artistic director Jack Viertel are the creative advisors for the 2009 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at White Oak. Philip Himberg serves as producing artistic director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program.