La Jolla Playhouse to Premiere LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE Musical, 2/15/11-3/17/11
La Jolla Playhouse announced today an exciting new production for its 2010/11 subscription season: the world premiere musical Little Miss Sunshine. The Tony Award-winning creative team of composer/lyricist William Finn and writer/director James Lapine, who previously collaborated on the Tony Award-winning musicals Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will bring their latest project to The Playhouse. The production will run February 15 - March 27, 2011 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.
Little Miss Sunshine is based on the 2006 motion picture by Big Beach Films and Fox Searchlight with a screenplay by Michael Arndt. The film received numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
About Little Miss Sunshine: The Hoover family has seen better days. Richard, the father, is a floundering motivational speaker, Grandpa's been kicked out of his retirement home for doing drugs, and Uncle Frank's been dumped by his boyfriend. Moody teenager Dwayne has taken a vow of silence and overextended mom Sheryl can do little more than slap on a smile. But when the youngest Hoover-energetic, indomitable Olive-enters a regional children's beauty pageant, the family thinks their luck could change and embarks on a cross-country trek chasing the coveted title of "Little Miss Sunshine." With a rollicking pace and moments of joyful abandon, Little Miss Sunshine is an outrageously funny and surprisingly touching new musical.
"We are delighted to present the world premiere musical Little Miss Sunshine and to welcome back to our home two extremely talented artists: William Finn and James Lapine," said La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "Together, their sharp writing and witty, exuberant music make for a wonderfully fun and intelligent show."
Composer and lyricist William Finn is especially known for the trilogy of short musical shows In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland. Falsettos, the combination of March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, ran for 486 performances on Broadway and won Tony Awards for Best Music and Lyrics and for Best Book, the latter shared with James Lapine. Finn and Lapine's other previous collaborations include the Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and A New Brain, which is loosely based on Finn's near-death experience after brain surgery, and which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for the best Off Broadway musical of the season. William Finn wrote the lyrics for world premiere musical Dangerous Games - Two Tango Pieces (1989), a co-production of La Jolla Playhouse, American Music Theater Festival and Spoleto Festival U.S.A. Finn is also the composer of Romance in Hard Times and Elegies, A Song Cycle.
James Lapine is the book writer/director of the Broadway musicals Sunday in the Park with George (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Into the Woods and Passion. His Broadway directorial credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, Golden Child, and Dirty Blonde with Claudia Shear. Lapine is a three-time winner of both the Tony Award (including Falsettos with William Finn) and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical. Additionally, he is a two-time winner of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for Sunday in the Park with George and The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee. He wrote and directed the 1993 La Jolla Playhouse world premiere play Luck, Pluck, and Virtue with Neil Patrick Harris, and directed the 1985 Playhouse musical Merrily We Roll Along. He has directed three films as well as the Off Broadway plays Table Settings, The Moment When, Fran's Bed and Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing. Most recently, he conceived and directed Sondheim on Sondheim at Roundabout Theatre Company in New York.