Gilbert, Blanchard, Lindsay, Massey, Loprest Explore a Musical Prairie at Paper Mill Starting Sept. 9

News   Gilbert, Blanchard, Lindsay, Massey, Loprest Explore a Musical Prairie at Paper Mill Starting Sept. 9
The East Coast premiere of the new musical Little House on the Prairie, starring Melissa Gilbert as Ma, begins performances Sept. 10 at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, prior to a national tour.
Melissa Gilbert in Little House on the Prairie.
Melissa Gilbert in Little House on the Prairie. Photo by Michal Daniel

The musical plays Millburn to Oct. 10. Opening is Sept. 20.

Gilbert, who, as a child actress, famously starred as Laura in the TV series based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is joined by Beauty and the Beast veteran Steve Blanchard (Charles "Pa" Ingalls); Kara Lindsay (Laura Ingalls); Kevin Massey of Broadway's Tarzan and Big River (Almanzo Wilder); Paper Mill Happy Days veteran Kate Loprest of Broadway's Xanadu (Nellie Oleson); Alessa Neeck of Lincoln Center's Happiness (Mary); Carly Rose Sonenclar, a Young Cosette in Broadway's Les Miz (Carrie Ingalls); plus Taylor Bera, Michael Boxleitner, Megan Campanile, Kurt Engh, Shawn Hamilton, Jessica Hershberg, Meredith Inglesby, Caroline Innerbichler, Lizzie Klemper, Garen McRoberts, Brian Muller, Will Ray, Gayle Samuels, Dustin Sullivan, Todd Thurston, Tony Vierling and Christian Whelan.

Little House on the Prairie – The Musical had its world premiere at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis in summer 2008; principals Gilbert, Blanchard and Lindsay were featured there. It was initiated for the stage by Adrianne Lobel and Francesca Zambello. The project has libretto by Tony Award winner Rachel Sheinkin (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), music by Rachel Portman (Oscar-winning composer for "Emma"), lyrics by Donna di Novelli and direction by Zambello (director of Disney's The Little Mermaid on Broadway and The Old Globe's The First Wives Club).

According to Paper Mill, "Little House on the Prairie has remained one of the most beloved celebrations of early Americana since the appearance of Laura Ingalls Wilder's popular classic book series 70 years ago. Now the inspirational stories take on a brand new frontier in an uplifting new musical. Melissa Gilbert, who played 'Laura' for ten years in the much-loved television series, continues her legacy by playing 'Ma.' Families will continue to fall in love with these life-affirming stories about the Ingalls' struggles and triumphs through the celebration of the pioneering spirit and the core values on which this country was founded — a spirit that resonates within each of us today."

Music supervisor is Kevin Stites; music director is Richard Carsey; orchestrations are by Larry Hochman. The creative team includes Michele Lynch (choreographer), Adrianne Lobel (scenic designer), Jess Goldstein (costume designer), Mark McCullough (lighting designer), Carl Casella and Dominic Sack (sound designers). Charles LaPointe is the hair and wig designer. The production stage manager is Michael Danek. Little House on the Prairie – The Musical plays the following performance schedule at Paper Mill: Wednesdays at 7 PM, Thursdays at 1:30 PM and 7 PM, Fridays at 7 PM, Saturdays at 1:30 PM and 7 PM and Sundays at 1:30 PM & 7 PM.

Tickets may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, or at the Paper Mill box office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at

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