Stephen Schwartz Develops Snapshots in VA

News   Stephen Schwartz Develops Snapshots in VA
Previews are underway for a new musical by Stephen Schwartz, of Godspell and Pippin fame.

Previews are underway for a new musical by Stephen Schwartz, of Godspell and Pippin fame.

Schwartz also wrote lyrics for the animated Disney films The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas; the latter won him an Oscar.

Snapshots, which was conceived by Michael Scheman and David Stern and has a book by Stern, plays at Virginia Stage Company through Nov. 17, with an official opening set for Nov.1.

Not quite a revue, not quite a book-musical, Snapshots stemmed from an idea by Scheman and Stern to create a revue of Stephen Schwartz songs centered on the theme of rites of passage. When Schwartz got into the project, he started writing new songs and revising older lyrics to fit the concept. Now the composer/lyricist refers to the show as "a sort of combination of revue, book musical and memory piece, which to my knowledge has few if any theatrical precedents."

David Stern's book chronicles 30 years of a middle-aged couple's troubled marriage. When Dan and Sue stumble across a box of old photographs, they begin reliving their history and realize how much they mean to each other. The revuesical had its first reading in 1993, at NY's Dramatists Guild. In September, a fairly finished workshop version of Snapshots was mounted at Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse.

The show, which will be backed by keyboard, synthesizer and percussion, will have entirely different costumes and settings than the workshop production in Connecticut. Songs in Snapshots include "Corner Of The Sky" (from Pippin), "Meadowlark" (from The Baker's Wife), "Lion Tamer" (from The Magic Show) and "All Good Gifts" (from Godspell). As she did in the Westport production, Cass Morgan will play Sue, this time opposite Michael DeVries as Dan. Other cast members include Julia K. Murney, Don Goodspeed, Erin Leigh Peck and James Bohanek. Michael Scheman directs; Andrew Lippa provides musical direction and vocal arrangements. Costumes are by Howard Tsvi Kaplan, lighting by Kenton Yeager, sound by Joe Payne.

Other musicals by Stephen Schwartz include The Magic Show, Rags, The Baker's Wife and Children Of Eden.

The not-for-profit Virginia Stage Company, now in its 18th season, has presented 14 other world premieres, including the 1988 Tony-winning production of The Secret Garden, which impressed Snapshot's creators and influenced them to have their world premiere at VSC.

For tickets ($17-$32) and information, call (757) 627-1234.

-- By David Lefkowitz \

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