Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A little sneak preview

The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis held a sneak preview yesterday for the new musical based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books. Steve on Broadway was there and as usual provides an excellent firsthand account.

Also, you can hear from director Francesca Zambello and get a taste of three songs from the show in a short video clip on the Guthrie's web site.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Zambello said that the musical will take place in the 1880s and focus on a teenage Laura. The story will open in western Minnesota, then move to South Dakota, where the Ingalls family relocated to file a land claim. "They were constantly moving," Zambello said. "They were poor, poor people, constantly in search of land that would yield them something."

Casting for the show will be announced in April, according to a story by Dominic Papatola in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Previews start on July 26, with opening night on Aug. 15. The musical runs through Oct. 5.

And while there's no specific mention of a Broadway run, Papatola says the Guthrie is working with a team of commercial producers led by Ben Sprecher, who most recently helped bring A Moon for the Misbegotten to Broadway last spring. Coincidentally, Moon was my first-ever Broadway show.

The Little House books were some of my favorites from childhood, so I'm looking forward to my first-ever trip to Minnesota this fall, when I'll take in the tuner with my two very wholesome, theater-loving Midwestern friends.


Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, Of course, I was thinking about you throughout the preview I attended, wondering how this would resonate with you and other devoted fans of the "Little House" series of books. I guess I'll know for sure when I join you in visiting Little House On The Prairie - The Musical this September!

Esther said...

Steve, as soon as I read about a musical version of "Little House on the Prairie" I knew it would be the perfect show for my first visit to the Guthrie and my first trip to Minnesota! You know how much I'm looking forward to it!