Michael John LaChiusa-Ellen Fitzhugh Musical Will Dance Again in Fall Workshop

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14 Aug 2014

Michael John LaChiusa
Michael John LaChiusa

Nine Fathers of Ariel, a new dance musical by five-time Tony Award nominee Michael John LaChiusa and Tony nominee Ellen Fitzhugh that is directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Graciela Daniele, will receive a New York City workshop this fall.

The month-long workshop, which begins in October, follows a staged reading of the work-in-progress that was held last April. The musical is based on the work of Argentinian writer Luisa Valenzuela.

It is characterized as "a dance musical which centers on a mother's effort to provide her son with good fathering in the face of a war-obsessed world."

Casting has not been revealed for the fall workshop. The April reading featured Tonya Pinkins, Marc Kudisch, Malcolm Gets, Telly Leung and Bryce Ryness.

"Nine Fathers of Ariel is a work-in-progress; this next stage of its development is exciting to Graciela, Ellen, and me as we’ll be seeing it fully staged, incorporating movement," LaChiusa told Playbill.com. "Dance plays as a significant role as the music and lyrics do in this adaptation of Luisa Valenzuela’s beautiful story. What we learn from rehearsals this fall will lead us to the next step, whatever, wherever that might be."

LaChiusa, Fitzhugh and Daniele previously collaborated on Los Otros at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. 

LaChiusa's works include Giant, Hello Again, Marie Christine, The Wild Party, First Lady Suite, among others. Fitzhugh penned lyrics to the Broadway musical Grind, and contributed additional material to Juno and Diamonds. Daniele recently choreographed the Kander and Ebb musical The Visit at Williamstown. Her work includes The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Once on This Island, Ragtime and Chronicle of a Death Foretold.