Revised Hallelujah, Baby! to See Stagings at Arena, George Street in 2004-05

News   Revised Hallelujah, Baby! to See Stagings at Arena, George Street in 2004-05
A reworked version of Hallelujah, Baby! will have productions at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ, and Arena Stage in Washington, DC, during the 2004-05 season, bookwriter Arthur Laurents told Variety.

As first reported by Playbill On-Line in October, Laurents and Amanda Green, daughter of the late lyricist Adolph Green, are revising the 1967 musical in hopes of staging it in New York during the 2004-05 season.

Phyllis Newman, Adolph's widow and Amanda's mother, told Playbill On-Line that the project was years in the development and had the blessing of all the original creatives. The musical has a book by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Jule Styne. The story follows African-American characters through the first 67 years of the 20th century, though they do not age. The conceptual musical earned Leslie Uggams a Tony that year. The show had closed by Tony Award time, but won the Best Musical prize.

"It is being revised for a small production," said Newman in 2003, "not Broadway. We hope it will happen sometime during the next season."

Laurents told Variety the cast size has been cut down from 20 to nine. A February workshop is expected to feature Leslie Uggams as Momma. She was Georgina in the original show. Hope Clarke is the choreographer.

Amanda Green is a lyricist in her own right and is stepping in where her father left off. Hallelujah, Baby! got a concert revival in the York Theatre Company's Musicals in Mufti series, Oct. 27-29, 2000.

The musical spawned an original cast album that has been reissued on CD. Over the years, parts of the score have surfaced in cabaret shows; "Being Good," "Not Mine," "My Own Morning" and "Talking to Yourself" are standout numbers.

Burt Shevelove directed the original production, and Kevin Carlisle choreographed. Robert Hooks and Allen Case also starred. The show ran 293 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre.

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