Big River and Striking 12 Teams Combine for New Musical Take on "Sleeping Beauty" | Playbill

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News Big River and Striking 12 Teams Combine for New Musical Take on "Sleeping Beauty" Deaf West Theatre and director Jeff Calhoun — the team behind the recent revival of Big River — will enlist The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Tony Award winner Rachel Sheinkin and GrooveLily for an upcoming original musical.

Slated for spring of 2006, the new work will debut at the company's North Hollywood stage. Deaf West currently co-produces the world premiere of Stephen Sachs' Open Window with Pasadena Playhouse through Nov. 20 at the latter's home venue.

"This will be a 'Sleeping Beauty' where the prince's kiss fails to do the trick. Beauty continues to sleep through millennia, finally waking up in our time to find a shopping mall where her castle once stood," Sheinkin explains about the modern tale. "As Beauty struggles to fit into her new culture, we explore the disorientation of finding ourselves alive in this particular era, and the sometimes bewildering quest to be truly awake."

Calhoun (Bells Are Ringing, Grease), who directed and choreographed the Deaf West production of the American Sign Language adaptation of Big River and Oliver!, will direct. Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda — of the band GrooveLily (with Gene Lewin) — will create the new musical with Sheinkin.

Sheinkin earned a 2005 Tony Award for her work on the Spelling Bee musical, currently running on Broadway. The librettist previously penned the book for GrooveLily's Striking 12 — a holiday show based on "Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Andersen — and Wheelhouse — the groups autobiographical tale set on their touring motor home. She also provided the libretto for the developing Joel Derfner' musical Blood Drive: A Musical Triptych.

For more information on Deaf West Theatre, located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, California, visit

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