Robert De Niro Will Direct New Alan Menken Musical at Paper Mill; Season Slate Unveiled

News   Robert De Niro Will Direct New Alan Menken Musical at Paper Mill; Season Slate Unveiled
Paper Mill Playhouse has announced its 2015-16 season, which will feature five musicals and two world premieres.

Chazz Palminteri
Chazz Palminteri Photo by Joan Marcus

The upcoming season will kick off in October with the world-premiere musical Bandstand, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler, while the holidays will feature A Christmas Story: The Musical, which is based on the 1983 film of the same name.

Also set for the Paper Mill season are Pump Boys and Dinettes and the classic American musical West Side Story.

"What a thrill to produce two world-premiere musicals in one season," stated producing artistic director Hoebee. "Paper Mill Playhouse is honored to bring so many incredible artists to work in New Jersey next season. The list is remarkable and includes Oscar winner Robert De Niro, Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler, Academy and Tony Award winner Alan Menken and Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo, to name a few. We are proud to have created an irresistible lineup of stories you will love, glorious music that will warm your heart and many memorable moments of theater magic."

Season details, according to the Paper Mill, follow: Bandstand (World Premiere)
Oct. 8-Nov. 8
Music by Richard Oberacker
Book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker
Direction and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler

"Paper Mill Playhouse produces this sizzling new big-band musical with an amazing original score and a plot that is full of surprising twists and turns. Emotionally charged and beautifully crafted, this is the story of a mismatched band of WWII veterans. Battle-scarred and broke, dreaming of a better life, they join together to compete in a national radio contest with a prize that will guarantee instant stardom to the winners. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler."

A Christmas Story: The Musical
Nov. 25, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016
Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Book by Joseph Robinette

"Straight from Broadway, this holiday musical is based on the classic 1983 movie. Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: An Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. A Christmas Story: The Musical is the hilarious account of Ralphi's desperate quest to ensure that this most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas."

A Bronx Tale (World Premiere)
Feb. 4-March 6
Book by Chazz Palminteri
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Direction by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks
Choreography by Sergio Trujillo

"Paper Mill produces the world premiere of this explosive new musical. Written by Chazz Palminteri and based on his acclaimed one-man show, A Bronx Tale is a complex love story set against the backdrop of racial strife and organized crime in the 1960s. It is the story of an Italian-American teenager finding his path in life as he must choose between the father who raised him and a mob-boss father figure who fascinates him."

Pump Boys and Dinettes
April 6-May 1
Book, lyrics and music by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann

"A raucous good time! A musical full of joy, a little bit of heartbreak and lots of hilarity. This tribute to life by the roadside, takes place on North Carolina's Highway 57. Somewhere between Frog Level and Smyrna stands a rest stop. The four hard-working fellas at the gas station have been known to do some auto repairs, but only when aided by some great tunes and a few beers. Next door there's the Double Cupp Diner, where the Cupp sisters offer up their famous home cooking and gift for song. A celebration of life, love, Dolly Parton, and catfish!"

West Side Story
June 1-June 26
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Direction by Mark S. Hoebee
Original direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins

"The stunning, groundbreaking and legendary musical that set the bar for all musical theater! Amazing dancing with music and a story that will stir your soul and set your pulse racing! Based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, it's The Sharks and The Jets like you’ve never seen them before. The score is a musical masterpiece by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, songs that have become part of our very culture."

Three, four and five-show subscription packages are available now starting at $104. Single tickets will go on sale in August starting at $32. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at

Paper Mill Playhouse is under the leadership of producing artistic director Mark S. Hoebee and managing director Todd Schmidt.

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