Goodspeed has not officially announced the project (and a call to Goodspeed was not returned), but it's expected to ripen in the sun of director Graciela Daniele (Once On This Island) Oct. 21-Nov. 14 (currently a TBA slot) at the Terris in Chester, CT. The venue is Goodspeed's incubator, where new shows are developed in front of audiences but not critics.
As previously reported by Playbill.com, Timothy Allen McDonald wrote the libretto, and the modern dance troupe Pilobolus will create the choreography of the surreal tale of a boy who shares a peach-pit room with insects, all in the center of the title fruit.
Goodspeed's development of James and the Giant Peach has the support of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
Music will be by Paul, with lyrics by Pasek. Their musicals include a cult-hit revue Edges, seen in regional theatre and London, A Christmas Story – The Musical (to premiere in Seattle this fall) and a developing new musical, Dogfight, based on the film of the same name.
In the dark Dahl tale, a boy burrows deep into a giant peach to meet human-sized insects within the hollowed-out pit. When the fruit becomes dislodged from its tree on a hill, an adventure begins. Drawing on the famous children's story by Roald Dahl, the new work is one of many new musicals Goodspeed works on. The show's developmental status with the Connecticut troupe does not necessarily guarantee a full production with the company; new work is part of the Tony Award-winning company's mission.
Librettist McDonald co-wrote the Dahl-based touring musical Willy Wonka (with songs by Leslie Bricusse) and co-wrote Goodspeed's annual holiday musical Jim Henson's Emmet Otter.
Michael P. Price is executive director of Goodspeed Musicals, which also operates the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT.