Jungle Book Musical Will Play Huntington; Season Also Includes Lydia R. Diamond and Melinda Lopez Premieres
By Adam Hetrick
Following its Chicago premiere this summer at the Goodman Theatre, Mary Zimmerman's new musical adaptation of Disney's The Jungle Book will open the 2013-14 season at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company in September.
Staged Sept. 7-Oct. 6, the stage adaptation based on the 1967 film (and the Rudyard Kipling story) will utilize the Sherman Brothers music from the film, which has been re-orchestrated for an orchestra that features both jazz and traditional Indian instruments. According to the Huntington, "The jungle springs to life in a kaleidoscopic song-and-dance-filled production that chronicles young Mowgli’s adventures growing up in the animal kingdom."
Zimmerman, a Tony Award winner for Metamorphoses, previously staged Candide at the Goodman prior to a Boston run at the Huntington in 2011. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to Boston and to the Huntington," Zimmerman said in a statement. "I love the theatre and its audience. We've just finished our second, very intense, very joyful music workshop at the Goodman where six swing/jazz musicians and six Indian musicians brought their virtuosity to the project. The songs from the film are utterly recognizable, yet renewed and enriched by these new, beautiful sounds, and it was the thrill of a lifetime to work with Richard Sherman of the original composing team."
From March 7-April 6, 2014, the Huntington will present a revival of Chekhov's The Seagull, starring Tony Award nominee Kate Burton (The Heiress, The Cherry Orchard) as Arkadina with her son, actor Morgan Ritchie, as Konstantin. Nicholas Martin will direct.
The world premiere of Melinda Lopez's Becoming Cuba will be staged by M. Bevin O'Gara March 28-April 26, 2014. "In 1898 Cuba on the eve of the Spanish-American War, spirited widow Adela runs a pharmacy, indifferent to the mounting conflict around her," according to the Huntington. "But when the rebellion comes home to Havana, she must choose between loyalty to country or to family. By turns funny, steamy, and political, this powerful new drama asks whether freedom is something we all want."
Also announced is the world premiere of Stick Fly playwright Lydia R. Diamond's Smart People, which will be staged by Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois from May 23-June 21, 2014. Here's how the Huntington describes the play: "Are our beliefs and prejudices hard-wired into us? Four Harvard intellectuals – a doctor, an actress, a psychologist, and a neurobiologist studying the human brain’s response to race – search for love, success, and identity in a complex world. With barbed wit, Diamond explores the inescapable nature of racism and other tricky topics in this controversial and fiercely funny new play."
Three additional resident productions, and another non-season production, will be announced at a later date. Subscriptions are now available. Single tickets for the Huntington's 2013-2014 season will go on sale this summer.
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