Mordecai Richler's landmark coming of age novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is getting the all-star musical treatment in a world premiere musical adaptation produced by the Segal Centre for Performing Arts in Montreal from June 7 to 28th, 2015.
A real coup for the Segal Centre, Duddy Kravitz has an original score by Alan Menken, the Tony- and Oscar-winning composer of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and The Little Shop of Horrors. The legendary composer is responsible for some of the most beloved songs and musical scores of our time.
"To see the show premiere where the story takes place is a dream come true. This project has been a long time in the making, and it means a great deal to be bringing it to you," said Alan Menken, whose current projects range from the hit ABC television series Galavant, Newsies and Aladdin on Broadway (both adapted for the stage from his Disney films) and the just-announced musical adaptation of Mrs. Doubtfire, with a book by Harvey Fierstein.
This new adaptation also combines the extraordinary talents of multi-award-winning American lyricist and librettist David Spencer (Weird Romance, the Public Theater La Bohème, and the forthcoming The Golden Calf), who has adapted the book and lyrics from Richler's eponymous 1959 novel.
"DUDDY may be the "realest" traditional musical anyone's ever seen. Even though it has a sweeping, eclectic score and follows a larger-than-life main character on a grand quest, its urban universe and sensibility exist in what I'd call musical theatre vérité. There isn't anything in the musical repertoire quite like it," said David Spencer.
Acclaimed American film and stage actor/director Austin Pendleton directs a 14-member cast featuring Ken James Stewart in the title role, George Masswohl as Max Kravitz and Montreal's Marie-Pierre de Brienne as Duddy's love interest, Yvette. Howard Jerome, seen in 2010's Barney's Version, also adapted from the Richler novel, makes his Segal Centre debut as Duddy's grandfather, Simcha Kravitz.
Adrian Marchuk, Victor Young, David Coomber, Sam Rosenthal, Michael Rudder, Kristian Truelsen, Albane Chateau, Gab Desmond, Julia Halfyard and Michael Daniel Murphy round off the stellar all-Canadian cast.
The creative team includes Jonathan Monro (Musical Direction), Dayna Tekatch (Choreography), Michael Eagan (Set & Costumes), Luc Prairie (Lighting), Peter Balov (Sound), Oran Eldor (Orchestrations) and Nick Burgess (Assistant Musical Direction)
The poignant coming of age story of boy wonder Duddy Kravitz has captured the imagination of generations. On the streets of 1950s Montreal, ambitious and scrappy scoundrel Duddy Kravitz is on the cusp of adulthood and hustling to climb the social ladder. Desperate to prove himself a "somebody", he risks making his name at the expense of those he loves; it all comes down to choosing what kind of man he's going to be.
The story of Duddy Kravitz was immortalized on screen in the 1974 feature film starring Richard Dreyfuss which was restored in 2013 by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.