Goodspeed's Golden Anniversary To Boast Shows By Jerry Herman, Frank Loesser and DeSylva, Brown and Henderson
By Kenneth Jones
The 50th season of two-time Tony Award-winning Goodspeed Musicals will include revivals of the Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!, Good News! and The Most Happy Fella, all at the historic Goodspeed Opera House, on the lip of the Connecticut River in Easy Haddam, CT.
The titles first surfaced in the Hartford Courant on Oct. 16. Playbill.com was able to get a confirmation of the titles and dates.
The official 50th anniversary of the resident theatre is June 18, 2013, which was the date in 1963 that the Jerome Kern/P.G. Wodehouse/Guy Bolton musical, Oh Lady! Lady!! was revived. The troupe's bent has always been unearthing vintage American musicals, though new works like Man of La Mancha, Annie and other contemporary shows have also been launched there. A second stage, the Norma Terris Theatre in nearby Chester, CT, was opened to expand Goodspeed's commitment to new musicals. (The Great American Mousical, now in rehearsal, will premiere at the Terris on Nov. 8, with Julie Andrews directing. The 2013 Terris season will be announced later.)
Good News!, the Jazz Age confection set on a college campus (Tait College) where everybody dances "The Varsity Drag," will be seen in a revised version, April 12-June 22, 2013. The 1927 show about a football player pulled between studies, a girl and the gridiron, has a score by composer Ray Henderson and lyricists Lew Brown and B.G. DeSylva. The book is by Laurence Schwab and DeSylva. The songlist includes the standards "The Best Things in Life Are Free."
Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's Hello, Dolly!, to play June 28-Sept. 8, 2013, is the Tony-winning hit about a matchmaker working to hook up a Yonkers half-millionaire with an eligible wife (herself, preferably). In 1963, the musical based on Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, celebrates the 50th anniversary if its out-of-town tryouts.
Composer-lyricist Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella, about a May-December romance in the Napa Valley of California, had a popular two-piano revival at Goodspeed that moved to Broadway in 1992. The new 2013 production, which will have an orchestra, will play Sept. 20-Dec. 1. The score freely mixes lush ballads ("My Heart Is So Full of You," "Don't Cry," "Somebody, Somewhere," "Warm All Over," "Joey, Joey, Joey") for the leading characters and upbeat show tunes ("Big D," "Standing On the Corner") for the supporting cast. The musical is based on the Sidney Howard play They Knew What They Wanted.
Goodspeed is expected to officially announced creative teams for these shows (as well as more about the 50th season) shortly.
Michael P. Price is executive producer of Goodspeed Musicals. Visit goodspeed.org.
The musical murder mystery Something's Afoot is currently in previews prior to officially opening at Goodspeed Opera House on Oct. 24.
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