Julie Andrews Will Direct Mousical Musical for Goodspeed Run in Fall 2012

By Kenneth Jones
January 14, 2012

Goodspeed Musicals announced Jan. 14 that it will produce The Great American Mousical, directed by Julie Andrews, inspired by the best-selling children's book written by Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton. The developmental staging will run Nov. 8-Dec. 2 at Goodspeed's home for new work, the Norma Terris Theatre, in Chester, CT.



Season tickets will be available beginning Jan. 16 through the Goodspeed Opera House box office.

Here's how the two-time Tony Award-winning resident theatre bills the new work: "Below the bright lights of Broadway, in the depths of the historic Sovereign Theatre, a troupe of musical-making mice rehearse a new show. When the theatre is threatened by demolition and their diva Adelaide disappears, it will take all paws on deck to fulfill the time-honored tradition: the show must go on! Filled with singing, dancing, and show biz lore, The Great American Mousical is a tribute to life in the theatre and celebrates the two most glorious words in the English language: musical comedy!"

The Great American Mousical features music by composer Zina Goldrich and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, a book by Tony nominee Hunter Bell, choreography by Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli, and sets and costumes designed by Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winner Tony Walton, who illustrated the earlier book. Expect the show to "entertain adults with its wit and musical theatre history," according to Goodspeed. "Kids will fall in love with the wonderful characters that inhabit the Sovereign Theatre."

Andrews — the Broadway and film legend who created iconic roles in The Boy Friend, My Fair Lady and Camelot on Broadway, and starred in the films "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins" — directed productions for Bay Street Theatre and Goodspeed Musicals, including a revival of The Boy Friend, which went on national tour.

Goldrich, along with longtime lyricist Marcy Heisler, is currently working on the musical adaptation of Ever After with director Kathleen Marshall. She earned a Drama Desk nomination for Best Music for the Off-Broadway show Dear Edwina. She composed the scores for Junie B. Jones (Lucille Lortel Award nomination) and Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred) (three Helen Hayes Awards nominations).

Heisler, with composer Zina Goldrich, was named the 2009 winner of the Fred Ebb Award for outstanding songwriting. Off-Broadway credits include Dear Edwina (Drama Desk nomination, Lyrics) and Junie B. Jones (Lucille Lortel omination, Best Musical). Her many lyric projects include work for Disney Channel, Disney Toon Studios, Disney Interactive and adaptations for Disney Theatricals.

Bell earned an OBIE Award, Drama League nomination, and Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical all for the original Broadway musical [title of show]. Other credits include the books for Silence! The Musical; Bellobration! (Ringling Bros. Circus); Now. Here. This.; and Villains Tonight! (Disney Cruise Lines).

Gattelli's Broadway credits include the current revival of Godspell and the upcoming Newsies, plus South Pacific (Tony, Outer Critics Circle nominations); Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; Sunday in the Park with George; 13: The Musical; High Fidelity and Off-Broadway's Altar Boyz (Lucille Lortel Award, Callaway Award, Drama Desk nomination); Bat Boy: The Musical (Lucille Lortel Award); tick, tick . . . BOOM!; and more. He directed and choreographed Off-Broadway's current Silence! The Musical.

Walton is an Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award-winning set and costume designer who in recent years has added directing to his long list of credits. He has been honored with Tony Awards for Pippin, House of Blue Leaves and Guys and Dolls.

The Great American Mousical will be produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.

For more information call the Goodspeed box office at (860) 873-8668 or visit www.goodspeed.org.