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The Pirate Queen, Captained by Galati, Plays Chicago in '06, Bway in '07


Director Frank Galati will come onboard the Broadway-bound production of The Pirate Queen, the new Boublil-Schonberg musical that will dock at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre from October 3rd through November 26th, 2006, for a Broadway opening in spring of 2007.

The show is a historical musical based on the life of Grace O'Malley (called Grania in the show), a woman "who led an extraordinary life as a pirate, cheiftan, lover and mother in 16th century Ireland," according to press notes.  The show "combines classic storytelling and a sweeping score, with the powerful, vibrant traditions of Irish dance and song, to create a modern musical event that is both an historic romance and a timeless epic."

The Pirate Queen will be produced by John McColgan and Moya Doherty, both of the Irish dance sensation Riverdance.  The musical, with a score that blends pop, rock, musical theatre and Irish music, will use Irish-step choreography in its scenes of battles and funerals, according to McColgan. Mark Dendy of Taboo will create the dances that evoke those of Riverdance.  "Grace O'Malley has been, more or less, written out of history, but she has lived on in song and story to become an Irish heroine and icon, a symbol of resistance down the ages.  We are proud to re-introduce Grace to the world," stated McColgan. 

While no casting has been announced (the show will feature a cast of 40), Colm Wilkinson is said to be in discussions for the male lead. Wilkinson, of course, starred in Les Miserables, another musical with a score by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg. The team, known for their sweeping pop opera scores, also co-penned Miss Saigon and Martin Guerre. The show will feature some lyrics by John Dempsey (The Witches of Eastwick) and orchestrations by Julian Kelly.
The musical will also feature sets by three-time Tony Award winner Eugene Lee, costumes by two-time Tony Award-winner Martin Pakledinaz and lighting by four-time Tony Award nominee Kenneth Posner.

Galati, who has directed high-profile productions in Chicago and on Broadway, won a Tony Award for The Grapes of Wrath, which transferred to Broadway from the famed Steppenwolf Theatre in the Windy City. Other Broadway credits include Seussical, Ragtime and The Glass Menagerie.

Priority seating for The Pirate Queen is now available for groups of 20 or more by calling (312) 977-1710, or by subscribing to the 2006-2007 Neumann Homes Broadway In Chicago Season Series this spring. Visit for more information on the show.


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