Regional Hit Musical Marvelous Wonderettes Will Bring Prom Dreams to Off-Broadway

News   Regional Hit Musical Marvelous Wonderettes Will Bring Prom Dreams to Off-Broadway
The Marvelous Wonderettes, writer-director Roger Bean's regional hit musical about a foursome of girls singing their hearts out in the late 1950s, is being prepared for an Off-Broadway run, produced by David Elzer and former Disney exec Peter Schneider.

A casting notice indicates that the Bean-directed production will play the Westside Arts Theatre (longtime home of I Love You, You're Perfect…), previewing in late August toward a mid-September opening.

Here's how the recent casting notice bills the show: "Cotton-candy-colored, nonstop pop musical. Takes the audience to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where we meet the 'Wonderettes' — four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts, and voices to match. We learn about their lives and loves, accompanied by the girls performing classic '50s and '60s pop songs. Act II takes place 10 years later."

Director-creator Roger Bean penned the show and wrote vocal arrangements with musical supervisor Brian Baker. Musical director is Michael Borth. Casting is by Binder Casting.

This production builds on the success of a hit Los Angeles staging of the show that features Kirsten Chandler, Kim Huber, Julie Dixon Jackson and Bets Malone.

Bean has turned old into gold by fusing famous songs onto new theatrical frameworks. His work has been seen at many regional theatres, including his regular artistic home — Milwaukee Repertory Theater. The Marvelous Wonderettes premiered at the Rep's intimate Stackner Cabaret in 1998-99 and graduated to the Rep's Stiemke Theater in 2000-01. A sequel, Winter Wonderettes, played the Stackner in 2003-04. Among the Bean titles seen at The Rep are Don't Touch That Dial and a sequel; The Andrews Bros.; Route 66; Why Do Fools Fall in Love?; Life Could Be a Dream; Beach Blanket Bash!, That's Amore and more.

The Winter Wonderettes include Cindy Lou (the prettiest girl at Springfield High, makes the biggest change between Acts I and II, having learned the lessons); Missy (the over-achiever of the group); Betty Jean (the slightly put-upon class clown, a tomboy); Suzy (the happy-go-lucky one).

The score includes period hits "Allegheny Moon," "Son of a Preacher Man," "Maybe," "Secret Love," "You Don't Own Me," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Lipstick on Your Collar," "I Only Want To Be With You," "It's My Party," "Stupid Cupid," "Hold Me, Thrill Me," "Rescue Me" and more.

Bean has worked with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Utah Musical Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Skylight Opera Theatre and the Utah Shakespearean Festival, among many others. He is the executive director of Steele Spring Productions, a theatrical licensing company, and a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and The Dramatists Guild.

Producer Elzer made his official Los Angeles producing debut with the The Marvelous Wonderettes. He was also a producer on Jewtopia Off-Broadway and was marketing consultant and an investor in Sister Act: The Musical. He runs Demand PR in L.A.

Producer Schneider is a theatre producer and director attached to Sister Act: The Musical, among other shows. His Broadway producing credits include the Tony Awarding winning The Lion King and Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida. As president of animation and chairman of the studio for the Walt Disney Company for 17 years, he was responsible for creating and distributing over 50 movies including "Beauty and the Beast," "Little Mermaid," "Toy Story," "The Lion King," "Roger Rabbit," "Remember the Titians" and "Princess Diaries."

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