Oklahoma! director Daniel Fish will put his own take on another American musical from the Golden Age. The Tony nominee will helm a production of Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella at Bard SummerScape in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, with performances set to begin July 7, 2020.
The New York Times reports the director is still in talks with the Loesser estate to fine-tune details, but a casting notice stated the production will be given a similar update to the Tony-winning revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (which also premiered at Bard SummerScape). The cast is set to be made up of seven performers who will tell their characters' stories—in addition to their own—through Loesser’s music.
The musical, based on Sidney Howard's 1924 play They Knew What They Wanted, first debuted on Broadway in 1956, earning five Tony nominations, including Best Musical and for stars Robert Weede and Jo Sullivan. The story follows the unusual relationship that builds after a vineyard owner purchases a mail-order bride.
Most recently, the show got a short reprieve as part of New York City Center’s Encores! 2014 season, starring Laura Benanti, Cheyenne Jackson, and Shuler Hensley.