Danish Premiere of [title of show] Opens Jan. 31; Victoria Bussert Directs
By Kenneth Jones
The Broadway cult-hit musical [title of show] makes its Danish debut Jan. 31 in an American-directed, Danish-language staging opening at the Fredericia Teater in the city of Fredericia, Denmark. Victoria Bussert, best known for her work in U.S. regional theatres, directs.
The antic, profane show about the creative adventures four pals trying too cook up an original musical is presented in a translation by Mads Nielsen and Thomas Bay. Bussert also directed the show for Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio and for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
Writers Hunter Bell (book) and Jeff Bowen (music and lyrics) have visited Denmark in recent days to look at the show, and will attend the opening.
Bell, who said there have also been Spanish, Israeli and Taiwanese productions of the Tony Award-nominated show, told Playbill.com, "We're thrilled [title of show] is being done around the world. Although the story follows two Broadway writers, at its core the show's themes of friendship, creativity and not being afraid to dream out loud always felt universal. The added bonus with this production is the incredible director Victoria Bussert. She's been a long time friend both personally and professionally to the original [tos] team. She directed the first developmental production post-Broadway as we worked on the materials for the licensed version through R&H, so having her take on the show in one of the first internationally translated productions makes us very comfortable and happy."
In Denmark, the cast includes Lars Molsted as Hunter, Bjorg Gamst as Heidi, Thomas Jensen as Jeff and Maria Skuladottir as Susan. Thomas Moller is music director and plays Larry. Here's a video introduction to it (in case you speak Danish).
Fredericia Teater artistic director Soren Moller most recently presented the European premiere of Disney's Aladdin in a sold-out run.
Last season's Danish production of Avenue Q, also directed by Bussert and choreographed by JR Bruno featuring the [title of show] cast members Lars Molsted, Bjorg Richterhausen Gottrup Gamst, Thomas Jensen and Maria Skuladottir, moves to Copenhagen for a May 4 opening.
In 2008, [title of show] — the musical that, according to a fan-favorite song in the show, would rather be nine people's favorite thing than 100 people's ninth favorite thing — played its final Broadway performance at the Lyceum Theatre on Oct. 12. Following runs at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004 and the Vineyard Theatre in 2006, the entire original cast — including co-creators Jeff Bowen (score) and Hunter Bell (book) as well as co-stars Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff — made the leap to the Broadway stage. A Chorus Line's Michael Berresse, who helmed the acclaimed Off-Broadway run, also directed the Broadway version, which featured musical director-arranger Larry Pressgrove onstage playing the electric keyboard. The musical was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Bell).
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