Upcoming Theatre Notes

Some interesting theatre notes, gleaned whilst persuing the papers during a late lunch:

  • A musical production of “Rocky” (based on the first (and best) movie in the Rocky series) is under development. The libretto will be by Thomas Meehan (“Producers”, “Young Frankenstein”, “Annie”), with music and lyrics by the team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (“Once on this Island”, “Ragtime”, “Seussical”, and many others). The director is reported to be Joe Mantello (“Wicked”, “Assassins”), but no other production details were mentioned.
  • Officially opening later this week is another Meehan-penned production, “Cry-Baby” (based on the John Waters film starring Johnny Depp). It opened to previews at the La Jolla Playhouse last week. The musical features an original rock ‘n’ roll/doo wop score by David Javerbaum (executive producer of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”) and Adam Schlesinger (of the pop group Fountains of Wayne).
  • The Pasadena Playhouse is being uncharacteristically slow on announcing the 2008 season (which we paid for back in June). However, news has leaked out about their August 2008 production. According to Playbill.Com, the Playhouse will be producing a musical version of “Vanities”, the three-actress musical about Texas cheerleaders who come of age in the ’60s and evolve into the 1970s. The production will be directed by Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey. The production features a book by Jack Heifner, with music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum. The production is based on “Vanities, the musical” which was originally produced at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto in the summer of 2006 and showcased at the 2006 National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) Festival of New Musicals. This production is headed for Broadway in fall 2008. It will be at the Pasadena Playhouse Aug. 22-Sept. 28, 2008 (which means we see it on Sept. 20, 2008).
  • And speaking of the Playhouse, their production of “Can-Can” was a big winner at the Ovation Awards. The Playhouse usually doesn’t do well at those awards (for whatever reason), so this is a great win. “Can-Can” won four awards: Direction of a musical, Lead Actress in a musical, Featured Actor in a musical, and Set Design (alas, Kevin did not win Lead Actor for “Can-Can”).