Goodspeed Announces Brand New Musicals in Season, YOU ARE HERE, CYRANO, and More
Goodspeed Musicals just announced three enticing productions planned for Chester, Conn. in 2018. First will be the inspiring You Are Here by Drama Desk Award nominees Bartram and Hill. This soaring musical will run May 18 - June 10. Next up will be a new musical adaptation of the enduring love story Cyrano. This exciting new take on the classic will be adapted by Erica Schmidt in collaboration with the indie band The National. Cyrano will run August 3 - September 2. Finally, A Connecticut Christmas Carol, a musical adaptation of the Dickens holiday classic spiced with the flavor of the Nutmeg State, returns to The Terris Theatre November 30 - December 30, 2018.
YOU ARE HERE -- July 20, 1969... a man walks on the moon... and Diana, a Chicago housewife, walks out of her comfortable suburban life. Suddenly alone in a fast-changing world, she finds a series of unexpected encounters can turn one small step into a giant, life-changing leap. This intimate, hilarious and heart-breaking tour-de-force musical will leave you cheering for the resilience of the human spirit. You Are Here features music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill.
Bartram and Hill have collaborated extensively in the past, most notably on The Story of My Life, which was produced at The Terris Theatre in 2008 before making the trip to Broadway where it was nominated for four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical, and won a Barrymore Award for Outstanding Ensemble. Their hit musical The Theory of Relativity was a highlight of Goodspeed's 2014 Festival of New Musicals and further developed at The Terris Theater in 2015. The pair are currently developing musical adaptations of Disney's famous Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Ray Bradbury's cult classic Something Wicked This Way Comes for the stage.
You Are Here will be directed by Sarna Lapine who directed the acclaimed 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George. Ms. Lapine served as Associate Director for the Broadway production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and as Assistant Director for Sondheim on Sondheim, South Pacific and The Light in The Piazza, among others.
CYRANO -- The legendary romance about a proud and impassioned poet who ghostwrites love letters is rekindled in a timeless and unconventional new musical. Cyrano agrees to woo his true love, Roxanne, on behalf of another in this classic tale of unrequited love. New music by members of the Grammy Award-winning indie alternative band The National drives this story of mistaken identity, selfless courage and buried desire. Adapted by Erica Schmidt from Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, Cyrano will feature Music by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, and Lyrics by Matt Berninger of The National and Carin Besser.
Aaron Dessner is a New York based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer, best known as a member of the Grammy Award-winning indie alternative band The National. Aaron produced Frightened Rabbit's album Painting Of A Panic Attack on Atlantic Records, Lisa Hannigan's At Swim and worked as an associate producer on Mumford & Sons' 2015 album Wilder Mind.
Bryce Dessner is a member of The National and co-founder of the Brassland label, alongside Alec Hanley Bemis and his twin brother Aaron Dessner. Bryce contributed music to the major motion picture The Revenant and is curator for the MusicNOW Festival held annually for over a decade in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. He has collaborated on projects as a performer and composer with some of the most prominent names in modern music, including Sufjan Stevens, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Philip Glass, Erik Friedlander and Nico Muhly.
Matt Berninger is the front man and lyricist for indie alternative bands The National and EL VY. The National's seventh album Sleep Well Beast has earned a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album. He is currently developing a television series with Carin Besser and Tom Berninger based on their award-winning filmMistaken for Strangers.
Carin Besser co-produced and edited the film Mistaken for Strangers. As a writer, Ms. Besser has been co-writing lyrics for indie rock band The National since their 2007 album Boxer.
Cyrano will be directed by Princess Grace Award recipient Erica Schmidt whose previous directing credits include Richard II with Robert Sean Leonard at The Old Globe, Turgenev's A Month In The Country with Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling at Classic Stage Company, Dennis Kelly's Taking Care of Baby at Manhattan Theatre Club and the Obie Award winning Invasion!. Ms. Schmidt wrote and directed All The Fine Boys which was presented this past spring at The New Group featuring Abigail Breslin and Isabelle Fuhrman.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu recently approved Goodspeed Musicals for an Art Works grant for the further development of Cyrano.
The creative team behind A Connecticut Christmas Carol returns to further develop this holiday hit with hopes to move the production to The Goodspeed in the future as an annual tradition. Some of the most beloved storytellers in Connecticut history come alive for a yuletide gathering you won't forget. Famed actor and local legend William Gillette leaves his castle on the Connecticut River to adapt Dickens' holiday classic in the 1920s. Local heroes Mark Twain, P.T. Barnum and more make spirited appearances opposite Gillette's Scrooge in a highly theatrical twist on a family favorite. Custom-made for Goodspeed with all original music, here's a tuneful, heartfelt confection spiced with enough Nutmeg State flavor to sweeten your season. A Connecticut Christmas Carol features Book by L J Fecho, and Music and Lyrics by Michael O'Flaherty, Goodspeed's Resident Music Director for over 25 years.
L J Fecho serves as Artistic Director of Genesius Theatre in Reading, Penn. Fecho has worked for Broadway Producer Alexander H. Cohen, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodspeed Musicals, Hudson Guild, Manhattan Theatre Club and Fulton Theatre. His play Just Another Illegitimate Child of John Lennon was presented at the Philadelphia Fringe. He wrote the book for Genesius - The Musical, which was presented at the 2006 Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals.
Michael O'Flaherty has been Goodspeed's Resident Music Director for twenty-seven seasons. His Broadway credits include By Jeeves, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and A Streetcar Named Desire. His regional credits include Paper Mill Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Ford's Theatre, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre and the Smithsonian Institution. Michael served as Musical Supervisor and Cabaret Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival for 11 years.
A Connecticut Christmas Carol will be directed by Hunter Foster, who co-wrote Goodspeed's Circus in Winter at The Terris Theatre in 2014. Mr. Foster was nominated for an Outer Critic Award for Best New Off-Broadway musical for Summer of '42, which had a developmental production at The Terris Theatre in 2000. Hunter won a Suzie Bass Award for Best World Premiere for Clyde and Bonnie. He has directed Million Dollar Quartet (Westchester Broadway, Ogunquit Playhouse, Casa Mañana, St. Louis Rep, Paper Mill Playhouse and Geva Theatre) and The Bridges of Madison County, Clue and The Buddy Holly Story, among many others, for Bucks County Playhouse.
For over 30 years, The Terris Theatre has been Goodspeed's home for developing fresh, innovative and original new musicals. Many new and reimagined musicals have been developed in Chester, Conn., before moving on to Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours and other Regional Theatres. Because this is a developmental theatre, the show can change on a day-to-day basis. New scenes are added, songs are moved, costumes are changed, dialogue is tweaked?all based on audience response and feedback.
The new THREE SHOW package includes a season ticket for all three shows at The Terris Theatre - starting at $108. Advance season ticket packages will be available starting February 26 through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open seven days a week. Single tickets go on public sale March 26, 2018.