Ahrens and Flaherty’s Little Dancer Takes Next Step

News   Commercial Producers Plan Lab for Ahrens and Flaherty’s Little Dancer
The musical inspired by the work of sculptor Edgar Degas is now being groomed by Broadway producers Rodney Rigby and Anita Waxman.
<i>Little Dancer</i>
Little Dancer Paul Kolnik

In an exclusive interview with Playbill.com earlier this year, the Tony-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty revealed that their new musical Little Dancer, based on the life and work of Edgar Degas, was now in the hands of commercial producers.

A new Equity audition notice revealed those producers to be Rodney Rigby and Anita Waxman, who are planning a September 26-October 21 developmental lab of the musical in New York City.

Little Dancer, directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, had its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2014.

The writing team passed on a potential West Coast run last year in order to do rewrites and revisions on the piece.

“It could have been at the Ahmanson, it could have been at La Jolla. But we’re taking a slightly different track,” Ahrens said previously. “We felt that because we have rewrites to do, the money that would have taken to scale the show a different way would be better spent to develop it. We have commercial producers.”

A March 28 industry reading featured a newly revised draft of the show. Participants included a number of cast members from the original Kennedy Center production, including New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck, Rebecca Luker, Karen Ziemba, Kyle Harris and Michael X. Martin.

Here’s how the show is billed: “Part fact, part fiction, Little Dancer is inspired by the obscure fourteen-year-old ballerina who posed for the famed Degas sculpture, ‘Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen.’ The show is set in the glamorous and lurid world of the Paris Opera Ballet, and follows Marie Van Goethem as she struggles to keep her place in the ballet corps, torn by her family’s poverty, her mother’s irresponsibility, the demands of Degas and the lure of wealthy men. Ultimately, this is the story of a girl on the verge of womanhood who inadvertently becomes the most famous dancer in the world.”

Ahrens and Flaherty are also at work on their new stage adaptation of Anastasia, which is playing a pre-Broadway tryout at Hartford Stage. It is expected to arrive on Broadway during the 2016-17 season.

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