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The very day I posted a similar blog to this one, two more musicals made their intentions for opening in the 2010 - 2011 season known. And both sound interesting...
Robert Lopez, center, with Lucy the Slut,
Christy Carlson-Romano, Rod, and Howie Michael Smith
First, the one that has me most excited... The Book of Mormon. No, I'm not a Mormon. I'm not particularly religious, either, but I do respect people of faith. This musical, narrated by Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, tells the story of Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda, a dangerous part of the world, to help the less fortunate and bring the word of Mormonism to them. The twist? It will have a book and score by Robert Lopez, who happened to write one of my favorite musicals, Avenue Q, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who happen to write a little show called South Park. And though he is not officially attached to the project, Cheyenne Jackson did a workshop of the show and said it was hilarious, cynical and ultimately full of heart. Right up my alley! And darned if Cheyenne doesn't look like one of those cute guys in the white shirt and black tie that stop by my door every so often!
Matt Stone and Trey Parker
The other show with designs on next season is another show based on a film. This one is Leap of Faith, a project lonnnnnggg in the making. It has been announced for several seasons. But now there seems to be some serious movement on it. The show, based on the film starring Debra Winger and Steve Martin, will be written by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid, Love Never Dies). The project will be directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, who most recently did the same chores for Promises, Promises to mixed reviews, thoug his most recent London effort, Parade, was a huge critical success. (He is also due to direct and choreograph the revival of How to Succeed...) The show will try out at the Ahmanson Theatre in LA this summer, and it is rumored, though not confirmed that Raul Espraza will be taking the Steve Martin role - a travelling tent revival preacher.
Raul Esparza and Rob Ashford
Alan Menken and Glenn Slater
Again, lots of male roles... this coming season could be very interesting. And Ashford, Jerry Mitchell and Jack O'Brien look to be three very busy men for the foreseeable future!
(Photos from Playbill Online, Broadway World.com and Getty Images.)