Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two New Shows Announced for Next Season has announced two new shows for the 2011-2012 season, with speculation about casting and creative teams for both. The first is William Inge's classic play, Picnic. The other is a musical adaptation of the Tim Burton film Big Fish. Check out the articles below, quoted directly from, for more details.

Academy Award winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and Hayden Panettiere (TV's Heroes) recently participated in a reading of William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Picnic, according to The New York Times. Producer Darren Bagert revealed he is planning a Broadway run for the show, but no casting is official. Sam Gold (Kin, Circle Mirror Transformation) is attached to direct.

In addition to Leo and Panettiere, Laura Innes (ER), Seth Numrich (War Horse) and The Illusion's Lois Smith and Finn Wittrock participated in the reading. Innes read the role of the schoolteacher Rosemary, which producers had previously approached Allison Janney to play.

"Mr. Inge is definitely a playwright that is undervalued still," Bagert said, "and there is a subtle strength in Sam Gold's direction that, I think, makes him a perfect match for Inge."

Picnic first opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre on February 19, 1953, and ran for 477 performances. The original production starred Peggy Conklin as Flo and featured Paul Newman in his Broadway debut as Alan. A 1994 revival starred Ashley Judd, Tate Donovan, Kyle Chandler, Debra Monk and Polly Holliday.

In other news:

A musical adaptation of the novel and movie drama Big Fish is set to open on Broadway in the spring of 2012. Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman (The Scottsboro Boys, The Producers) has signed on as director and choreographer. The show will feature music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family) and a book by John August, who also wrote the screenplay. Casting and design team will be announced shortly.

A reading of the musical recently took place with Tony winners Hugh Jackman and Laura Benanti in the cast.

"John August and Andrew Lippa have taken inspiration from Daniel Walllace's book and Tim Burton's movie and completely re-imagined this ambitious story for the stage," producer Dan Jinks said in a statement. "They have created a musical that is enormously entertaining, hilariously funny and spectacularly moving."

"We are ecstatic to be working with this generation’s pre-eminent director/choreographer, launching Big Fish on the eve of her double Tony nominations for The Scottsboro Boys," said Bruce Cohen, who will join with Jinks to produce the new musical.

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