David Lutken Ropes Return to THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES at Goodspeed in 2018; 3 Musicals Announced

David Lutken Ropes Return to THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES at Goodspeed in 2018; 3 Musicals Announced

Last night during an exclusive member event, Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed's Executive Director, announced three titles on track for next season.

Gennaro explained, "2018 promises to be a fantastic year. We have something for everyone at The Goodspeed including a dance-filled musical comedy, a beloved Dickens classic and a zany Roaring Twenties-inspired romp. Our audiences expect only the best from Goodspeed and we plan to give them exactly what they want: exciting, entertaining and uplifting stories along with plenty of song and dance."

Spring brings The Will Rogers Follies A Life in Revue with Broadway and Goodspeed veteran David Lutken in the title role. Mr. Lutken appeared in the original Broadway production of The Will Rogers Follies. Connecticut audiences will remember David from his performances in Big River and Finian's Rainbow at Goodspeed as well as his performance as Woody Guthrie in his award-winning musical Woody Sez at TheaterWorks Hartford.

Shake hands with the heartwarming humorist who spun a rope, poked fun at headlines and never met a man he didn't like. The rags-to-riches story of America's beloved stage, screen and radio star bursts to life as a Ziegfeld Follies-style extravaganza. Family, fame and fate are center stage in Will's rise from obscurity to stardom. Along the way he's arm-in-arm with vivacious showgirls and a slew of cowboys. Curtain up on the Tony Award-winning Best Musical that captures the American spirit at its up-tempo best. The Will Rogers Follies features Book by Peter Stone, Music Composed and Arranged by Cy Coleman and Lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green. Original New York production directed and choreographed by Tommy Tune. Inspired by the words of Will and Betty Rogers, it will be directed by Don Stephenson (Goodspeed's Guys and Dolls) The Will Rogers Follies will run from April 13 - June 21, 2018.

Enjoy summer at The Goodspeed with the classic musical Lionel Bart's Oliver!. Charles Dickens' beloved orphan makes his Goodspeed debut in the hope-filled musical set in the dark shadows of Victorian London. Bounced from workhouse to forced labor, Oliver Twist escapes to the streets where he meets Fagin, the Artful Dodger and a band of child pickpockets. Will he find love, home and happiness before it's too late? Consider yourself part of the family with the colorful international smash that gave the world "Where Is Love?," "Food! Glorious Food!" and "As Long As He Needs Me." Oliver! features Book, Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart and will be directed by Rob Ruggiero (Goodspeed's Rags, Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel and Show Boat among others). Oliver! will run from June 29 - September 9, 2018.

Swingin' tunes herald in the zany comedy Bullets Over Broadway The Musical next fall. Let's misbehave! A machine-gun burst of songs from the Roaring Twenties heats up Woody Allen's hilarious musical comedy about mobsters mixed up in the theatre. When a gangster promises to produce a young playwright's new script, the string attached is the crook's no-talent girlfriend. Love, limb and livelihood are at risk in a fizzy backstage story loaded with zingers, slapstick and bigger-than-life show people. This song-and-dance spin on the hit film will leave you sitting on top of the world. Written by Woody Allen and based on the screenplay of the film Bullets Over Broadway by Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath, the production will be directed by Gordon Greenberg (Goodspeed's Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, Pirates of Penzance and Happy Days among others). Bullets over Broadway will run from September 21- November 25, 2018.

Goodspeed invites theatre fans from near and far to come and experience all that this world-renowned maker of musical theatre and its neighboring shops, restaurants and attractions have to offer. Plan ahead and make it a Goodspeed day!

Season tickets for all three shows at The Goodspeed start at $108. Advance season ticket packages are now on sale through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open Monday through Friday from 10am - 5pm. Single tickets go on public sale beginning February 18, 2018.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development and advancement of musical theatre and is the first theatre in the nation to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement). Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn., and additional productions at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals; official audio sponsor Sennheiser; and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. Goodspeed is also grateful for the support of the National Endowment of the Arts and the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

Pictured: David Lutken in The Will Rogers Follies at Pioneer Theatre Company this spring.

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