With a Tom Sawyer musical currently on Broadway and a Huckleberry Finn show (Big River) a regional theatre staple and past Broadway hit, it seems only logical that musical theatre creators might raid other Mark Twain classics for inspiration. The latest is Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper," which receives a world premiere musical Nov. 23-Dec. 15 at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.
Marc Elliott and Raisin composer Judd Woldin crafted the eclectic score, which features jazz, Baroque, gospel and blues-styled tunes. The Prince and The Pauper is the story of two very different, but identical boys - one a poor child living off the streets and the other, the pampered son of Henry VIII — and their adventures after they exchange identities. Ivan Menchell wrote the book.
The Prince & The Pauper is a co-production with Minneapolis' Ordway Theatre, who will present the musical Dec. 19-30 on their Main Stage.
The 5th Avenue season kicks off with another co-production, this time with the city's A Contemporary Theatre. Together, the two will stage Stephen Sondheim's classic A Little Night Music Sept. 18-Oct. 14. The 5th Avenue's Producing Artistic Director David Armstrong directs the romantic musical based on Ingmar Bergman's film "Smiles of a Summer Night."
Also appearing at the 5th Avenue in 2001-02 are: The national touring company of Kiss Me, Kate, Jan. 8-27, 2002
The Most Happy Fella, March 5-24, 2002
Hair, April 9-21, 2002
For reservations, call (206) 292-ARTS. The 5th Avenue Theatre is on the web at http://www.5thavenuetheatre.org.
— By Christine Ehren