World-Premiere Musicals Bull Durham and Tuck Everlasting Will Bow in Atlanta
By Adam Hetrick
Two world-premiere musicals, Bull Durham and the Broadway-aimed Tuck Everlasting, will be presented as part of the Alliance Theatre's 2014-15 season, the Atlanta, GA-based regional theatre announced March 3.
As previously reported by Playbill.com, Bull Durham is written by the film's original screenwriter Ron Shelton, who has adapted his screenplay for the musical, which has music and lyrics by Susan Werner. The romantic story is set within the world of minor league baseball.
Kip Fagan (The Revisionist) will stage the production that opens the season Sept. 3-Oct. 5. Creative team members also include choreographer Joshua Bergasse ("Smash") and musical director Jason DeBord.
Here's how the Alliance bills the musical: "Bull Durham, loosely based on Ron Shelton's experiences on and off the field with a Minor League Baseball team, tells the story of three lives brought together by America's two favorite pastimes – baseball and romance. Veteran catcher 'Crash' Davis has been brought to the Durham Bulls to prepare rookie Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh, a hot rod pitcher with a 'million dollar arm and a five cent head,' for the majors. Annie Savoy, self-appointed high priestess and muse of the Bulls, has a hard decision to make - every season she transforms one lucky player from an also-ran to an all-star by sharing with them her wisdom, experience and bed. The love triangle heats up quickly as they struggle with their own desires and hopes for what the future holds. A pitch perfect blend of comedy, drama, and steamy romance, Bull Durham will leave you cheering from the stands."
Also announced is the world premiere of the new musical Tuck Everlasting, which was originally scheduled to play a pre-Broadway Boston engagement last summer. Producers announced last spring that they would delay the musical's Broadway arrival due to the lack of an available theatre during the 2013-14 season. It will now premiere Jan. 21-Feb. 22, 2015, in Atlanta.
Based on Natalie Babbitt's popular 1975 children's novel, Tuck Everlasting has a score by Burnt Part Boys songwriters Chris Miller (music) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics) and a book by Tony Award-nominated playwright Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde).
Tony Award-winning Book of Mormon director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin, The Drowsy Chaperone) will stage the premiere that runs Jan. 21-Feb. 22, 2015. Producers are still hopeful that the work will have a future Broadway life.
According to the Alliance, "A young girl dreaming of adventure meets a family with a fabulous secret. Their chance encounter will change them all forever. Take an exhilarating journey you'll never forget in this new musical about everlasting love, never-ending life, and discovering what it means to truly feel alive. Based on the beloved, best-selling, award-winning novel by Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting comes to life on stage in a wholly original production."
The Alliance Theatre's season will also include Robert Harling's poignant comedy Steel Magnolias (Oct. 22-Nov. 9), helmed by Tony Award winner Judith Ivey, as well as world premieres by Atlanta-based playwright Pearl Cleage, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, Phillip DePoy and Kendeda Playwriting Competition winner Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert.
Additional productions in the Alliance season follow:
Tell Me My Dream
It's a Wonderful Laugh
The C.A. Lyon's Project
Children and family programming includes the world premiere of Courage, Scott Warren's adaptation of "Red Badge of Courage" (Nov. 3); A Christmas Carol (Nov. 21-Dec. 14); and a musical adaptation of James and the Giant Peach (March 14-29, 2015). The Alliance is still determining which musical version of the Roald Dahl work they will produce.
Tickets for individual productions go on sale in July. Visit alliancetheatre.org.
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