Regina Spektor Will Pen Music for Landau's Grimm-Inspired Beauty Musical
By Kenneth Jones
Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, known for plucky and searching alt pop songs, will collaborate with playwright-director Tina Landau and lyricist Michael Korie to create a Broadway-aimed musical, Beauty, a new riff on "Sleeping Beauty," to be produced by Elephant Eye Theatrical.
Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt, Five Cent Productions make up Elephant Eye, which is also behind the new musical The Addams Family. They are aiming Beauty for the 2011-12 Broadway season, following an out-of-town tryout.
Beauty is billed as "an expansion of Landau's 2002 acclaimed one-act play produced by the La Jolla Playhouse; Beauty uses the 1812 Grimm fairy tale 'Sleeping Beauty' as a jumping off point for a contemporary and hauntingly provocative story of beauty lost and beauty found."
Known for her alternately frisky and ruminative lyrics and piano-based music, Spektor is a Russian-born, Bronx-bred artist who practiced on an out-of-tune piano in the basement of her local synagogue before she emerged as a singer-songwriter in small clubs in New York City in 2001. Her latest album is "far," following her breakout recording "Begin To Hope" (which has sold more than one millions copies worldwide). She'll appear on TV's "Saturday Night Live" on Oct. 10 and will headline at Radio City Music Hall on Oct. 14.
Korie was nominated for the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards as lyricist for Grey Gardens, composed by Scott Frankel with a book by Doug Wright. Also with composer Frankel, Korie created lyrics to Happiness, an original musical with book by John Weidman produced by Lincoln Center Theater. Korie and Frankel's upcoming musical is Finding Neverland, with book by Allan Knee and direction by Rob Ashford, being produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Korie wrote the libretto to composer Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath which premiered at Minnesota Opera followed by productions at Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall, Utah Opera and Pittsburgh Opera.
Landau is currently directing the Broadway production of Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts. She is a writer and director whose original pieces include the plays Space (NYSF/Public, Mark Taper Forum, Steppenwolf), Theatrical Essays (Steppenwolf), 1969 (Humana Festival), Beauty (La Jolla Playhouse) and Stonewall (En Garde Arts), as well as the musicals Floyd Collins with composer Adam Guettel (Playwrights Horizons, Goodman, Old Globe, Prince Music Theater) and Dream True with composer Ricky Ian Gordon (Vineyard Theater). Her upcoming projects include Tarell McCraney's Brother/Sister Plays at Steppenwolf and Ricky Ian Gordonís Sycamore Trees at the Signature Theater.
Elephant Eye is also developing the new musical Bruce Lee: Journey to the West, with a book by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang (M Butterfly, Aida), music and lyrics by two-time Tony Award nominee David Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and direction by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific). Elephant Eye, in association with Playwrights Horizons, also presented the world premiere of the musical Saved.
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