"Set in rural Oklahoma at the turn of the century, Abyssinia is the uplifting tale of a young girl's joys, sorrows and triumph of faith," Goodspeed announced. "Born during a terrifying tornado, Abyssinia is given the gift of song and a healing spirit to inspire her entire community. An exuberant musical that resounds with plenty of spiritual thunder and melodic lightning, Abyssinia packs an emotional power that surely will bring joy to your heart."
Performances will play Sept. 30-Dec. 4, 2005. A director will be announced at a later date.
This musical has a book by James Racheff and Ted Kociolek, music by Kociolek and lyrics by Racheff. Based on the novel "Marked by Fire" by Joyce Carol Thomas, Abyssinia was previously produced at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in 1987 and again in 1988.
"When we produced Abyssinia at The Norma Terris Theatre 18 years ago, audiences loved it so much, they've been asking for it ever since," said Michael P. Price, Goodspeed executive director. "With a timeless story and such glorious music, this is an important show for us to revisit and finally produce on the mainstage."
Racheff has worked previously at Goodspeed on Houdini as author and co-lyricist, and Oh, Kay! for book adaptation. Houdini was most recently seen at the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival this past September. His credits include the Off Off-Broadway production of Jolson: A Vaudeville. Credits for Kociolek also include Jolson: A Vaudeville. Abyssinia rounds out the 2005 Opera House season, which, as previously announced, includes Seven Brides for Seven Brothers April 15-June 26 2005, and The Boy Friend, directed by the legendary Julie Andrews, July 8-Sept. 18, 2005. Both shows will be seen on tour following their Goodspeed runs.