June 6, 2020

Julie Andrews Returns to Goodspeed to Direct New Musical

EAST HADDAM, CONN., January 14, 2012:  This afternoon at Goodspeed’s 7th Annual Festival of New Artists, the two-time Tony Award-winning theatre announced plans for the production of a new musical, The Great American Mousical,  to be directed by Julie Andrews. The musical is based on the best-selling book authored by Ms. Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, with illustrations by Tony Walton. This developmental production will run November 8 – December 2, 2012 at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Connecticut. Season tickets will be available beginning January 16 through the Goodspeed Opera House Box Office. The Great American Mousical will be sponsored by Essex Meadows.

Below the bright lights of Broadway, in the depths of the historic Sovereign Theatre, a troupe of musical-making mice rehearse a new show.  When the theatre is threatened by demolition and their diva Adelaide disappears, it will take all paws on deck to fulfill the time-honored tradition: the show must go on! Filled with singing, dancing, and show biz lore, The Great American Mousical is a tribute to life in the theatre and celebrates the two most glorious words in the English language: musical comedy!

Under the direction of theatre icon Julie Andrews, The Great American Mousical features an enchanting new score with Music by Zina Goldrich and Lyrics by Marcy Heisler, a book by Tony nominee Hunter Bell, choreography by Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli, and sets and costumes designed by Oscar, Emmy and Tony-Award winner Tony Walton. With boundless appeal, The Great American Mousical will entertain adults with its wit and musical theatre history while kids will fall in love with the wonderful characters that inhabit the Sovereign Theatre.

“Emma, Tony and I had so much fun working on this book and are now overjoyed that it will come alive on the stage,” said Julie Andrews.  “I’m so blessed to be working with this creative team in adapting our book for the theatre.”

Michael Price, Executive Director of Goodspeed Musicals, adds “Julie Andrews and Tony Walton have been part of the Goodspeed family for several years and we are thrilled to have them back with us to work on this delightful musical.   Adding Zina, Marcy and Hunter to the creative team makes the project even more exciting.”

About the Artists:

Julie Andrews is one of the most recognized and beloved figures in the entertainment industry. Her legendary career encompasses the Broadway and London stages, blockbuster Hollywood films, award-winning television shows, multiple albums and concert tours.  She is also a best-selling author in the world of children’s and adult publishing. Ms. Andrews has directed productions for Bay Street Theatre and Goodspeed Musicals including The Boy Friend and its National Tour.

Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling children’s book author, professional editor and arts educator.  She co-founded the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York where she served in numerous capacities through 2008, and is currently a faculty member for Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Writing and Literature Program.

Zina Goldrich, along with longtime lyricist Marcy Heisler, is currently working on the musical adaptation of Ever After with director Kathleen Marshall. She earned a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Music for the off-Broadway show Dear Edwina. She composed the scores for Junie B. Jones (Lucille Lortel Award nomination) and Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred) ( three Helen Hayes Awards nominations)  Honors include the Fred Ebb Award, ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, Seldes-Kanin Fellowship, and a Jonathan Larson grant.

Marcy Heisler, with composer Zina Goldrich, was named the 2009 winner of the Fred Ebb Award for outstanding songwriting.   Off-Broadway credits include Dear Edwina (Drama Desk Nomination, Lyrics) and Junie B Jones, (Lucille Lortel Nomination, Best Musical).  Her many lyric projects include work for Disney Channel, Disney Toon Studios, Disney Interactive and adaptations for Disney Theatricals.  Songwriting awards include the Richard Rodgers New Horizons Theatre Award and Jamie De Roy and Friends Award (ASCAP), a Seldes-Kanin Fellowship, and others.

Hunter Bell earned an OBIE Award, Drama League nomination, and Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical all for the original Broadway musical [title of show]. Other credits include the books for Silence! The Musical; Bellobration! (Ringling Bros. Circus); Now. Here. This; and Villains Tonight! (Disney Cruise Lines.) As an actor, he has appeared on and off Broadway and in numerous regional theatres, including the Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre. He is a distinguished alumnus of Webster University and a MacDowell Fellow.

Christopher Gattelli’s Broadway credits include the current revival of Godspell and the upcoming Newsies; South Pacific (Tony, Outer Critics Circle nominations); Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; Sunday in the Park with George; 13: The Musical; High Fidelity and off-Broadway’s Altar Boyz (Lucille Lortel Award, Callaway Award, Drama Desk nomination); Bat Boy: The Musical (Lucille Lortel Award); tick, tick . . . BOOM!; and more. As director he helmed Silence! The Musical, the world premiere of Jim Henson’s first musical, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, and the world premiere of Radio Girl, both with Goodspeed Musicals.

Tony Walton is an Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award-winning set and costume designer who in recent years   has added directing to his long list of credits.  He has been honored with Tony Awards for Pippin, House of Blue Leaves, and Guys and Dolls.   Walton directed and designed the triumphant Goodspeed production of Where’s Charley?, designed sets and costumes for the Goodspeed production and National Tour of The Boy Friend, and has received acclaim for his productions at the Irish Repertory Theatre, The York Theatre, Old Globe Theatre and Bay Street Theatre.

The Great American Mousical will be produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.

The Norma Terris Theatre is located at 33 North Main Street in Chester which was recently voted “Best Small Town in Connecticut” by Connecticut Magazine. Season Tickets will go on sale January 16 for Goodspeed Members through the Goodspeed Opera House Box Office.  Individual tickets will go on sale to the general public on March 25, 2012. For more information call the Goodspeed Box Office at 860.873.8668 or visit  www.goodspeed.org.

Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional productions at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals.  The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains the Scherer Library