Will Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez's Up Here Musical Bow on Broadway?

By Michael Gioia
June 4, 2014

Broadway may be in the cards for Up Here, a new musical comedy featuring book, music and lyrics by the Oscar-winning, husband-and-wife composing team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, which will be part of La Jolla Playhouse's 2015-16 season.



As previously reported by Playbill.com, two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers, whose work includes Broadway's Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Pee-wee Herman Show and the imaginative staging of Peter and the Starcatcher, will direct the project.

Up Here is being presented at La Jolla by special arrangement with Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions; along with Victor Alvarez and Sally Horchow International Productions.

Variety reports that Sanders — producer on this season's Tony-nominated musical revue After Midnight and Broadway's The Color Purple, among others — is eyeing a Broadway bow for Up Here.

"Up Here is one of those rare original musical comedies," Sanders said in a statement issued to Playbill.com. "As you can imagine with the Lopezes, it is witty, it is wicked smart, it is irreverent, and it's youthful in its energy. Up Here will appeal to a broad audience but it certainly will be something that even Millennials will relate to. Some of the characters are written in one of the protagonist's imagination and it's going to allow for some creative staging — so, of course, nobody's better at that than Alex Timbers."

"Bobby Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Alex Timbers are the new musical theatre rock stars of this generation," said Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley in a statement. "We're tremendously excited to collaborate with them on developing this extraordinarily witty and wonderful piece that taps into the zeitgeist of Millennials everywhere."

Here's how La Jolla bills the new musical: "Dan is an ordinary guy with a boring social life, an unused gym membership and a lot going on upstairs. When he finds a potential spark with Lindsay, his attempts at love are jeopardized by his chaotic subconscious mind. Academy Award-winning composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez team up with acclaimed writer/director Alex Timbers to create this new musical comedy about moving past ourselves – and those little voices in our head - to find happiness."

Lopez and Anderson-Lopez are the Oscar-winning songwriting team behind the Disney animated film "Frozen." Lopez has co-conceived and co-written the musicals Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, which both earned him Tony Awards. Anderson-Lopez's In Transit opened Off-Broadway in 2010 and earned recognition at the Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel awards that year.

Lopez and Anderson-Lopez have written for television, film and stage, including the stage version of Finding Nemo, songs for "The Wonder Pets" (two Emmy award wins) and the "Winnie the Pooh" animated film.

For more information, visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org.