Cumberland County Playhouse to Host New Production of Broadway-bound LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE

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Cumberland-County-Playhouse-to-Host-New-Production-of-LITTLE-HOUSE-ON-THE-PRAIRIE-20010101

Little House on the Prairie, the musical by Rachel Portman, Donna DiNovelli and Rachel Sheinkin based upon the series of books by Laura Ingalls Widler, will be given a new production with a revision of the script and score, at Cumberland County Playhouse, in Crossville.

CCP, now in its 48th year in the hills of Tennessee, will play host to the creative team, cast and crew for a production set for September 27-November 9.

Little House on the Prairie—which had a 26-city national tour in 2009-10 following the musical’s premier at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis (the tour launched at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse)—features a score by Academy Award winning composer Rachel Portman, with lyrics by Donna DiNovelli and book by Rachel Sheinkin.

The musical takes place in the 1880s, when the Ingalls family moved to the Dakota Territory, in search of a better way of life.

According to the CCP playbill for its current production of The Sound of Music, “we’re in final negotiations for the world premiere of the newly revised edition of the musical that swept the country in a recent national tour!”

The playbill article goes on to say that the creative has “asked us to help make sure it’s ready for the next step—Broadway! The authors will be working with our Playhouse professionals to create a whole new production…Don’t miss your chance to see this remarkable new production here at The Playhouse before it goes to Broadway!”

Details on casting and the members of the creative and production team have not yet been made public.

The musical premiered at the Guthrie Theater, running from July 26 in previews, opening August 15, through October 19, 2008. The Guthrie cast included Melissa Gilbert as "Ma", Steve Blanchard as "Pa", Kara Lindsay (Laura), Jenn Gambatese (Mary), Sara Jean Ford (Nellie), Kevin Massey (Almanzo Wilder) and Brian Muller (Clarence Brewster).

The musical then began a five-week engagement at the Paper Mill Playhouse, on September 10, 2009 prior to a national tour that began in October 2009 at the Ordway Theatre, St. Paul, Minnesota. Gilbert, Blanchard, Lindsay and Massey continued their roles at Paper Mill and were also cast in the first national touring company in 2009-2010. Lindsay currently stars on Broadway in Newsies.

Pictured: The 2009-10 National Touring Cast of Little House on the Prairie, including Kara Lindsay, Steve Blanchard and Melissa Gilbert.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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