John Kander, David Thompson and Susan Stroman to Bring Henry James Novella to the Vineyard Stage in 2018

By: May. 01, 2017

Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce that Vineyard Theatre's 2017-2018 season will include the world premiere of THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE, a new work - fusing drama, dance and music - by five-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman (CONTACT, THE PRODUCERS), playwright David Thompson (SCOTTSBORO BOYS), and legendary composer and four-time Tony Award winner John Kander (CABARET, CHICAGO). THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE will have its world premiere in the spring of 2018.

Adapted from Henry James' classic 1903 novella, THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE is a journey into the psyche of John Marcher, a man haunted by personal demons, whose great yet unfulfilled love affair with an unforgettable woman spans decades and continents. With a swirling, waltz-inspired instrumental score, and dazzling choreography that traverses the worlds of ballet and contemporary dance, this powerful and romantic tale of love and loss will reunite the renowned creative team behind The Vineyard's acclaimed production of THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS.

Additional shows for The Vineyard's 2017-2018 season will be announced at a later date. The Vineyard concludes its current season this spring with the New York premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's CAN YOU FORGIVE HER?, directed by Peter DuBois, beginning performances on May 4.

Memberships are now on sale for The Vineyard's 2017-2018 Season and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 212-353-0303. Members are guaranteed seats to each of The Vineyard's three mainstage productions, at a discount off regular price tickets. Other privileges include the ability to reserve seats before tickets go on sale to the general public, discounted guest tickets, invitations to new play readings and developmental lab productions, and other exclusive benefits.

SUSAN STROMAN directed the Vineyard's 2016 premiere of DOT, her third Vineyard production after FLORA AND THE RED MENACE and the critically-acclaimed THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS. She directed and choreographed THE MERRY WIDOW for the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the new musical LITTLE DANCER for the Kennedy Center. She directed and choreographed the Tony Award-winning Best Musical CONTACT, and THE PRODUCERS, winner of a record-making 12 Tony Awards. Broadway credits include BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, BIG FISH, OKLAHOMA!, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, THOU SHALT NOT, THE MUSIC MAN, THE FROGS, STEEL PIER, BIG, SHOW BOAT, and CRAZY FOR YOU. Off-Broadway credits include AND THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND, HAPPINESS, A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Madison Square Garden and THE LAST TWO PEOPLE ON EARTH: AN APOCALYPTIC VAUDEVILLE. Stroman directed and choreographed The Producers: The Movie Musical, nominated for four Golden Globes, and received the American Choreography Award for her work in the feature film Center Stage. A five-time Tony Award-winner, she has been honored with Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Lucille Lortel, and a record five Astaire awards. She is the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater and a member of the Theater Hall of Fame.

JOHN KANDER's first Broadway musical was A FAMILY AFFAIR, collaborating with James and William Goldman. Kander and Ebb's four decade collaboration created FLORA THE RED MENACE, CABARET (Tony Award), ZORBA, THE HAPPY TIME, 70 GIRLS 70, CHICAGO, THE ACT, WOMAN OF THE YEAR (Tony Award), THE RINK, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (Tony Award), STEEL PIER, CURTAINS and THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS. Movies and television material for "Liza with a Z" (Emmy Award) and HBO's "Liza Minnelli's Steppin Out" (Emmy Award), Funny Lady (Academy Award nomination, Best Song), Lucky Lady, New York, New York, Stepping Out, and Chicago The Movie (Academy Award nomination, Best Song). Mr. Kander composed scores for "An Early Frost," "Breathing Lessons," "The Boys Next Door," Kramer vs. Kramer, Blue Skies Again, Places of the Heart and also a composition for Renee Fleming, "A Letter from Sullivan Ballou." Mr. Kander has collaborated with writer Greg Pierce on two musicals that premiered at The Vineyard: THE LANDING, and this season's KID VICTORY.

DAVID THOMPSON's Broadway credits include THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (Tony nomination, Best Book), STEEL PIER (Tony nomination, Best Book), the new script adaptation for CHICAGO (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), and THOU SHALT NOT. His Off-Broadway credits include AND THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND (NY Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Awards), the new librettos for FLORA, THE RED MENACE and DEAR WORLD. Regionally he adapted McCarter Theatre's A CHRISTMAS CAROL. His television credits include "Sondheim: A Celebration At Carnegie Hall," "Bernstein on Broadway," "My Favorite Broadway," the two-part PBS special "The Music of Richard Rodgers," and the Great Performances documentary "Razzle Dazzle." David is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.

Dedicated to the creation and production of daring new plays and musicals, Vineyard Theatre has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works, including Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's INDECENT which is now playing on Broadway, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Pulitzer Prize finalist GLORIA, which transferred to the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in January; last season's DOT by Colman Domingo; Nicky Silver's THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q; Kander and Ebb's THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Paula Vogel's HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (1998 Pulitzer Prize); Edward Albee's THREE TALL WOMEN (1994 Pulitzer Prize); Tarell Alvin McCraney's WIG OUT!; Becky Mode's FULLY COMMITTED; Jenny Schwartz' GOD'S EAR; Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN; and many more. The Vineyard's productions have been honored with two Pulitzer Prizes, three Tony Awards, and numerous Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel awards.

The Vineyard Theatre's leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.


Nominate Your Arts Educator for the 2024 Excellence in Theatre Education Award Photo
Nominate Your Arts Educator for the 2024 Excellence in Theatre Education Award

Do you have a theatre teacher who has made a major impact on your life? World Teachers' Day (October 5) is quickly approching and there's no better way to show your appreciation than by submitting them for the 2024 Excellence in Theatre Education Award!

Video: Ariana DeBose Leads Disneys WISH Movie Musical Trailer Photo
Video: Ariana DeBose Leads Disney's WISH Movie Musical Trailer

Disney has released the official trailer for Wish, a new animated movie musical starring Ariana DeBose. Featuring the voices of the Academy Award-winning DeBose as Asha, Chris Pine as King Magnifico, and Alan Tudyk as Asha’s pet goat Valentino, the epic animated musical “Wish” features new songs by Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice. Watch the video!

Nominations Open for the 2023 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards Worldwide Photo
Nominations Open for the 2023 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards Worldwide

Nominations are now open for the 2023 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards worldwide! The 2023 Regional Awards honor productions which had their first performance between October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023.

Photos: In Rehearsals for Alicia Keys HELLS KITCHEN at the Public Theater Photo
Photos: In Rehearsals for Alicia Keys' HELL'S KITCHEN at the Public Theater

The Public’s world premiere musical HELL’S KITCHEN, featuring music & lyrics by 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys and a book by Pulitzer finalist Kristoffer Diaz, is now in rehearsals! Check out photos of the cast in the rehearsal room here!



Recommended For You