Tim Rice-Stephen Olivier Musical Blondel Re-Tuned As Lute! for TX World Premiere

News   Tim Rice-Stephen Olivier Musical Blondel Re-Tuned As Lute! for TX World Premiere
Blondel, the 1983 London musical by Tony, Olivier and Academy Award-winning lyricist Tim Rice and late composer Stephen Olivier, will strum its songs anew as Lute!, a retitled and revised production, which will debut at the University of Texas at El Paso Dinner Theater.

Tim Rice
Tim Rice Photo by Krissie Fullerton

The rock opera first debuted in London in 1983 and received its U.S. debut at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1985. UTEP remounted the production for an encore run in 1988.

Rice, who stated he was never fully satisfied with the musical, revisited the medieval-England-set work, which was retitled Lute! for a 2006 London production. The production has undergone further revisions in anticipation of the Texas run, which will receive its world-premiere at UTEP Jan. 27-Feb. 12, 2012.

Lute!, which has book and lyrics by Rice and music by Olivier, also features additional musical contributions by Mathew Pritchard. Gregory Taylor will direct, with musical direction by Patricia Ann Provencio and choreography Lisa Lopez.

Here's how UTEP bills Lute!: "The story takes place in England in 1189 and features a magnificent and murky collection of characters from those medieval days. The star is the minstrel Blondel himself, who plucks his lute all over Europe while on a desperate quest to locate England's missing king, Richard The Lionheart. Also involved in the tale are Fiona, his long-suffering girlfriend, the evil Prince John, a confused Assassin, four be-bopping Monks and even, in a minor role, Robin Hood. The show features witty lyrics, beautiful music and the very funny story will have you laughing the whole way through." The production will have costume design by Jaime Barba, with set and lighting design by Mike Spence.

A three-time Tony Award winner, Rice is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Rice also collaborated with ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus on the cult musical Chess.He also penned lyrics for such Disney stage productions as Aida, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and King David, as well as the films "Aladdin" and "The Lion King." Tickets are available by phoning (915) 747-5234 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com.

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