Nobel Prize-Winning Russian Love Story to Become New Musical Doctor Zhivago

News   Nobel Prize-Winning Russian Love Story to Become New Musical Doctor Zhivago
More music than "Lara's Theme" will be part of the developing musical stage adaptation of Doctor Zhivago which will combine the talents of Michael Weller, Lucy Simon, Michael Korie, Amy Powers and La Jolla Playhouse artistic director Des McAnuff.

The work, which is still very much in the early stages, could possibly see the stage as La Jolla though no definite plans have been made, according to the company's spokesperson.

Michael Weller — whose What the Night Is For is currently making its American debut at the Laguna Playhouse stage — will provide the libretto for the new musical. The Secret Garden composer Lucy Simon is penning original music with lyrics by Michael Korie (Doll) and Amy Powers (Lizzie Borden).

Doctor Zhivago will be based on the famous 1958 Nobel Prize-winning novel by Russian author Boris Pasternak — who was forced to decline the literary prize by the Russian government. Set against the backdrop of the snowy country before and after the Russian Revolution, the work was later adapted for the screen as the 1965 film starring Omar Shariff as the surgeon-poet Yurii Zhivago and Julie Christie as his muse Lara.

Weller — the playwright of Moonchildren, Loose Ends and Spoils of War — is also at work with McAnuff on a new play Only This Life.

Among the many other works being develop by La Jolla Playhouse include 700 Sundays... Billy Crystal... A Life in Progress — the comedian's solo show which is set for a workshop staging, April 20-May 2 — and the musical Disposable, about Gianni Versace killer Andrew Cunanan, which teams up director Michael Greif (Rent), writer Jessica Hagedorn (Dogeaters) and composer Mark Bennett (Golda's Balcony). La Jolla Playhouse is located on the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla, CA. For more information on the company, visit

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