Manhattan School of Music presents the world premiere of Paperboy at its Neidorff-Karpati Hall March 24–26. The new musical features a score by Pump Boys and Dinettes' Jim Wann and David Shenton and a book by Emily Loesser and Don Stephenson with Vince Vawter.
The work is adapted from Vawter's 2013 Newberry Medal honoree book of the same name. Inspired by Vawter's own experience growing up in the 1950s, the story follows an 11-year-old boy with a stutter whose life is transformed one summer after taking over his friend's paper route.
Husband-and-wife team Loesser and Stephenson collaborated with Vawter on the adaptation, with Loesser drawing on her experience as a licensed and practicing speech-language pathologist, along with being the daughter of Broadway legends Frank Loesser and Jo Sullivan Loesser. Stephenson has appeared on Broadway in Trouble in Mind, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Producers, Parade, and Titanic, and has directed productions at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Alley Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, and Paper Mill Playhouse, among others.
Stephenson helms the production with MSM Dean of Musical Theatre Liza Gennaro providing choreography. Miles Plant music directs, with Shenton providing orchestrations and arrangements. The production also features scenic design by Michael Schweikardt, costume design by Fan Zhang, lighting design by Shawn Kaufman, sound design by Scott Stauffer, projection design by Shawn Duan, wigs and make-up design by Loryn Pretorius, and dramaturgy by Shayla Gordon.
The work has been developed over the last two years through workshops in MSM's Musical Theatre Lab series.
More information and tickets can be found at MSMNYC.edu.