Princesses Will Arrive on Broadway in July 2005; Lane and Comley Produce the Zippel Musical

News   Princesses Will Arrive on Broadway in July 2005; Lane and Comley Produce the Zippel Musical
Princesses, the new musical comedy about prep school girls who put on a musical version of "A Little Princess" with the help of a Hollywood superstar, is aiming toward Broadway in summer 2005, with Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley producing.
David Zippel
David Zippel

Stagings for the show had already been announced for Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre (fall) and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre (early summer 2005), but the producing partners of the latter run had not been made public. Now they have, and July 2005 is the Broadway target.

Lane's producing credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Will Rogers Follies, as well as The Goodbye Girl, the musical co-written by Princesses conceiver David Zippel. Rob Ashford will choreograph.


Princesses is the new and original musical inspired by the kid-lit favorite, "A Little Princess," by librettists Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, composer Matthew Wilder and lyricist David Zippel (who conceived the idea and directs). It plays 5th Avenue Theatre May 31-June 19, 2005, replacing We Will Rock You on the 5th Avenue schedule.

Goodspeed Musicals will present the show's world premiere in a developmental run at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, Nov. 4-28, 2004. Casting should be complete by June, Zippel told Playbill On-Line. Playbill On-Line previously reported about past readings of the show. Brent Barrett, Donna English, Jenny Fellner and Joe Machota appeared in the most recent New York reading of Princesses, a contemporary stage musical that references the classic novel-for-girls, "A Little Princess."

Princesses is a musical within a musical about a group of "seen-it-all, too-hip-for-their-roommates private school girls" who are forced by an enthusiastic teacher to put on a production of Frances Hodgson Burnett's Victorian classic.

According to earlier presentation notes about the show, "At the center of Princesses are two father-daughter stories. The contemporary story revolves around 16-year old Miranda Finck and her father, superstar Kevin Finch — once Shakespeare in the Park's lauded Henry IV, now People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. Miranda feels dumped in the exclusive Reardon School by her jet-setting father after her mother's death. A 'quality time' visit from Kevin results in his taking charge of the struggling student show with hilarious consequences. Simultaneously we watch the parallel father-daughter story of 'A Little Princess' unfold as the school production progresses from auditions through rehearsals with both stories resolving onstage on opening night."

The idea for the show was Zippel's. He envisions a cast of 14-20. Lyricist Zippel is a Tony Award-winner for City of Angels and a two-time Oscar nominee ("Hercules," "Mulan"). He is also lyricist of the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, The Woman in White. He'll be in England this summer working on it.

The Steinkellners produced and wrote seven seasons of "Cheers." Wilder is an Oscar and Grammy nominee who penned the score to Disney's "Mulan" and pop songs for No Doubt, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson.

The score contains contemporary pop, sung by the girls, musical comedy numbers and a slightly more traditional sound for the show within a show.

For Goodspeed information, visit For 5th Avenue Theatre information, visit


Composer Andrew Lippa is working with lyricist-librettist Brian Crawley on an unrelated adaptation of the novel, "A Little Princess." It has its world premiere Aug. 18 at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA. Susan Schulman directs. The show there is called, as you might guess, A Little Princess. It is also on a Broadway path.

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