Joe Iconis' Diary of a Wimpy Kid Musical Will Premiere in Minneapolis | Playbill

News Joe Iconis' Diary of a Wimpy Kid Musical Will Premiere in Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company (CTC), under the artistic direction of Peter C. Brosius, will celebrate its 50th anniversary season with five premieres, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical, with music and lyrics by Joe Iconis.

The season will kick off with the premiere of Akeelah and the Bee, adapted for the Stage by Cheryl L. West and based on the original screenplay by Doug Atchison. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, performances will be held Sept. 1-Oct. 11 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage.

Joe Iconis
Joe Iconis Photo by Monica Simoes

Here's how it's billed: "Akeelah has a crazy passion for words: the more abstruse and labyrinthine, the better. But this gift is almost overwhelmed by the challenge of her daily life in a tough, dangerous Chicago neighborhood, and by Akeelah's yearning for a different life. The first theatrical adaptation of the critically-acclaimed film is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright and captures all the hope and spirit of the original story in an inspiring tale of a community united behind one little girl’s dream."

Akeelah and the Bee will also be featured in La Jolla Playhouse's DNA New Work Series and will travel to a major regional theatre following its run at CTC.

Following Akeelah will be the premiere of The Jungle Book, based on the book by Rudyard Kipling and adapted and directed by Greg Banks. Performances will run Sept. 29-Dec. 6 on the Cargill Stage.

According to CTC, "Mowgli is rambunctious and curious, scrappy and silly. Sound like a kid you know? This new adaptation of the beloved Rudyard Kipling story finds a child lost in the Indian jungle, where he is adopted by Baloo the Bear, Bagheera the panther, and all the beasts who call the mysterious wilderness home. Our fast-paced retelling keeps you perched on the edge of your seat as young Mowgli comes face-to-face with sneaky monkeys, noisy vultures and his mortal enemy: the tiger, Shere Kahn." L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, will run Nov. 3-Jan. 3, 2016, on the UnitedHealth Group Stage.

The musical features background music by Herbert Stothart, dance and vocal arrangements by Peter Howard, orchestration by Larry Wilcox and is adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It is based upon the classic motion picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros. Peter C. Brosius will direct.

The Frog Bride, written, conceived and performed by David Gonzalez, will be held Jan. 12-Feb. 28, 2016, on the Cargill Stage.

Directed by Lenard Petit, it features music by Sergei Prokofiev and Daniel Kelly, video design by Matyas Keleman and lighting design by David Lander.

The premiere of The Snowy Day And Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats by Jerome Hairston, based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats and directed by Peter C. Brosius, will be held Feb. 9-March 20, 2016, on the UnitedHealth Group Stage.

According to CTC, "The wonder of a fresh snowfall, the delight of that first successful whistle, the awe in finding a special treasure: Ezra Jack Keats had a gift for capturing the rapturous joy in a child's day-to-day life. In this new staging of Keats' beloved works with puppet design by Italy’s renowned Teatro Gioco Vita, director Peter C. Brosius brings the little boy in the red coat to enthralling life. Revisit Keats' treasured stories in this wholly original theatrical adaptation."

The premiere of Animal Dance, choreographed and directed by Ann Carlson with Peter C. Brosius, will be held March 22-May 1, 2016, on the Cargill Stage.

Here's how it's billed: "What do kids (baby goats) and kids (not-so-baby people) have in common? World-renowned choreographer and performance artist Ann Carlson will dance her way to the answer with the help of some curious goats and their animal buddies in this brand-new piece developed specifically with preschoolers' interests and attention spans in mind. It’s a story of the similarities we share with our animal friends in the quest for self-expression and ultimately, understanding. So stomp your hooves, clap your paws and expect the unexpected."

Closing the season is Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical, based on the book by Jeff Kinney with music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and a book by Joe Tracz.

Rachel Rockwell will direct the piece, which is produced by special arrangement with Fox Stage Productions and Kevin McCollum. Performances will run April 12-June 5, 2016, on the UnitedHealth Group Stage.

According to CTC, "Greg Heffley is in survival mode. All. The. Time. From bullies to his big brother to his height-challenged stature, he’s the wimpy kid we can all relate to. The beloved series hits the stage in a brand-new musical with Rowley, Manny, and of course, Rodrick joining in the mayhem. A ridiculous amount of fun for anyone who has survived, is surviving, or hopes to survive middle school, inspired by the award-winning and bestselling book series."

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