Little House on the Prairie is coming to our home!

Written by DSM Columnists on Monday, April 26, 2010 at 1:27 PM



LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE

THE MUSICAL

WITH

MELISSA GILBERT

AS MA

WILL BE PRESENTED BY DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS

AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK MAY 11-23

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DALLAS, TXLITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, a new musical based on the beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder series of classic American books, will be presented by Dallas Summer Musicals May 11-23 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Melissa Gilbert, who rose to fame as a child playing ‘Laura’ in the hugely successful NBC television series “Little House on the Prairie” during the 1970s, now continues her legacy ‘on the prairie’ by taking on the role of Ma. LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE will also star Steve Blanchard as Pa and Kara Lindsay as Laura.


Single tickets for the Dallas Summer Musicals engagement of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE are priced from $15-$71, and are on sale now at The Box Office, 542 Preston Royal Shopping Center, and all Ticketmaster locations; tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 214-631-ARTS (2787). For groups of 15 or more call 214-426-GROUP.


LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, THE MUSICAL with Gilbert, Blanchard and Lindsay, had its world premiere production in August, 2008 at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, where it shattered all box-office records and sold-out for 12 consecutive weeks. Initiated for the stage by Adrianne Lobel (Frog and Toad) and Francesca Zambello, the show is directed by Zambello (Disney’s The Little Mermaid), with music by Academy Award® winner Rachel Portman (Emma), lyrics by Donna di Novelli and a book by Tony Award® winner Rachel Sheinkin (The 25TH Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Michele Lynch is choreographer and Kevin Stites is musical supervisor.


The producers of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, THE MUSICAL are Ben Sprecher, Amy Sprecher, Louise Forlenza, Bob Boyett, Jay Harris, William Franzblau, Tony Fusco, Larry Feinman, Peter W. Bezemes, Friendly Theatrical LLC, Jon B. Platt, Wendy Federman, Michael Filerman, Marc Schwartz, Karl Sydow and Nelle Nugent, in association with Bob Reich and Sharon Carr.


The production includes scenic design by Adrianne Lobel, lighting design by Mark McCullough, costumes by Tony Award winner Jess Goldstein, sound design by Carl Casella and wig/hair design by Charles LaPointe. Richard Carsey serves as music director, orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and dance and incidental music arrangements are by Michael Dansicker, with additional vocal and incidental music by Kevin Stites.


LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, THE MUSICAL is the uplifting story of an American family forging a new life amidst the mighty challenges, heartbreaks, joys and triumphs that face them in the newly-settled heartland. It is also the story of young Laura Ingalls, as she begins her life as a young woman, finding purpose, and finding love. Above all, it is the celebration of the pioneering spirit and the core values on which this country was founded – a spirit that still resonates today.


MELISSA GILBERT (Caroline “Ma” Ingalls). Theatre: Off-Broadway: A Shayna Maidel (Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards); Regional: Love Letters (Canon Theater, LA); The Glass Menagerie (Chautauqua Theater Company); The Miracle Worker (Royal Poinciana Playhouse, Palm Beach); Bus Stop and Love Letters (Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville); Little House on the Prairie, the Musical (Guthrie). Television: Series lead in “Little House on the Prairie,” starred in more than 40 movies for television, including Emmy Award-winning The Miracle Worker, and more than a dozen television series, including “Nip/Tuck,” and “Sweet Justice.” Ms. Gilbert served as President of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001–05, and is currently the Standing Board Chair and Spokesperson for the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition. Ms. Gilbert is also a New York Times best-selling author with the recent publication of her autobiography, Prairie Tale - A Memoir, from Simon & Schuster.


STEVE BLANCHARD (Charles “Pa” Ingalls). Broadway: Beauty and the Beast, Camelot, A Christmas Carol, The Three Musketeers; Off-Broadway: Frankenstein, Johnny Guitar, An Oak Tree; National tours: Camelot, Phantom of the Opera, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis: Esmeralda; Baltimore’s CenterStage: Sleep of Reason; Charles Playhouse, Boston: The Threepenny Opera; Ford’s Theatre, Washington, D.C.: Hot Mikado, Godspell; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical; Paper Mill Playhouse: Chess; Theatre Under The Stars, Houston: Chess. Film/Television Law at Randado, Rapmaser Ronnie, Warlords 3000, “Third Watch,” “Law and Order,” “Ed,” “Police Story,” “Sunset Beat,” “One Life to Live,” “Guiding Light,” “Another World.”Original cast recordings Johnny Guitar, Sundown, Frankenstein; debut solo CD Northbound Train.


KARA LINDSAY (Laura Ingalls). Theatre: Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Quilters; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical; 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle: Lone Star Love; West Virginia Public Theatre:Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Hello, Dolly!; Carnegie Mellon University: Side Show, After Miss Julie, Hello Again, Oresteia. Training B.F.A., Acting/Musical Theater, Carnegie Mellon University


FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO (Director). Theatre Broadway: Disney’s The Little Mermaid; London: Royal Albert Hall: Showboat; West End: Napoleon; Raimund Theater, Vienna: a new musical based on Rebecca; Seattle Children’s Theatre: Tibet Through the Red Box; Bregenz’s floating stage: West Side Story; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical. Old Globe: First Wives Club, Skylight Music Theater: artistic director, 1984-91; Opera: Metropolitan Opera: An American Tragedy (world premiere), Cyrano de Bergerac (with Placido Domingo), Les Troyens; Teatro alla Scala: Cyrano; Washington National and San Francisco Operas: The Ring, San Francisco Opera: artistic advisor; Royal Albert Hall: La Bohème; The Bolshoi: Fiery Angel; Chicago Lyric Opera: Salome; Royal Opera House: Carmen, Don Giovanni; Paris Opera: Boris Godunov, War and Peace, Billy Budd, William Tell; Film War and Peace (ORF), Amahl and the Night Visitors (BBC), The Little Prince (BBC/PBS). Awards: Three Olivier Awards; two Evening Standard Awards for best musical and best opera; two French Grand Prix des Critiques; Japanese Golden Prize; Helpmann Award; Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres; Russian Federation’s medal for Service to Culture; the Palme d’Or in Germany; the Golden Mask in Russia. Education: Colgate University; Moscow University. www.francescazambello.com


RACHEL PORTMAN (Music). Theatre: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical. Film: Grey Gardens, The Duchess, Emma, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, Infamous, The Manchurian Candidate, Oliver Twist, The Lake House, Nicholas Nickleby, Hart’s War, The Human Stain, Life is Sweet, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Beloved, Home Fries, Addicted to Love, Marvin’s Room, Only You, The Road to Wellville, Sirens, Benny & Joon, The Joy Luck Club, Used People, Smoke, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Where Angels Fear to Tread. Opera/concert: The Little Prince, The Water Diviner’s Tale. Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Score for Emma; Academy Award nominations for The Cider House Rules and Chocolat; British Film Institute’s Young Composer of the Year Award.


DONNA DI NOVELLI (Lyrics). Musical Theater/Opera: Little House on the Prairie, the Musical (lyrics); Florida (book and lyrics) Lyric Opera Cleveland, Public Theater’s New Work Now, New York City Opera’s VOX; No God but Yearning (book and lyrics) Public Theater’s New Work Now, Joe’s Pub. Theater: The First Eff (stage play) Mark Taper Forum, Duende Arts. Dance: Twelve Dancing Princesses (text) Los Angeles Modern Dance and Ballet. Commissions: San Francisco Opera; Chanticleer; BBC. Publications New Monologues For Women by Women (Heinemann Press), NuMuse, Brown University. Awards: Manhattan Theatre Club Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation residency in Bellagio, Italy; National Musical Theater Conference residency, the Mac Dowell Colony and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Professional Affiliations: ASCAP, Dramatists Guild. Teaching: Bookwriting, Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts; Playwriting, National Theater Institute, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center; Visiting professor, Brown University. Training: M.F.A., Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts (Ira Gershwin Fellow); A.M., Brown University.


RACHEL SHEINKIN (Book) Recent work includes Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony, Drama Desk awards); Off Broadway: Striking 12 (Lucille Lortel nomination), off-off: Serenade. Regional: Guthrie, Little House on the Prairie, the Musical; Center Theater Group, Sleeping Beauty Wakes (Los Angeles Ovation Award); London: Blood Drive. Residencies, fellowships, commissions include: Eugene O’Neill National Theater Center, Baryshnikov Dance Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Manhattan Theatre Club, Deaf West, McCarter Theatre, Playwrights Horizons. Rachel is a volunteer mentor for TDF’s Open Doors program, a visiting instructor at Yale School of Drama, and adjunct faculty member of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.


MICHELE LYNCH (Choreographer). Paper Mill Playhouse: Happy Days. Broadway: The Coast of Utopia (Choreographer), Hairspray and The Full Monty (Associate Choreographer), Urinetown (Asst. Choreographer). Off-Broadway: Everyday Rapture (Second Stage), NYMF: Idaho; Yale Rep: Rough Crossing; Guthrie: Little House on the Prairie; Asolo Theatre: Pride & Prejudice; Mark Taper Forum: 13; St Louis MUNY: Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Stanford Center for the Arts: Empire; North Carolina Theatre: South Pacific; Ford Center: Leading Ladies; has traveled around the world setting companies of Hairspray and The Full Monty. Film: CAMP. Awards: Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Happy Days at Goodspeed Opera House; Garland Award for 13.


KEVIN STITES (Music Supervision, Additional Vocals, Incidental Music). Broadway: Tale of Two Cities, Color Purple, Titanic, Sunset Boulevard, Pamela’s First Musical, Children and Art, Les Misérables, Threepenny Opera, Fiddler, Nine, Oklahoma!, On the Town. National tours: Color Purple, Martin Guerre, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Titanic. Guest conductor: Grant Park Symphony, Guys and Dolls and Les Miserables at Hollywood Bowl. TV/Film: “Rosie Live,” Reefer Madness and others.


Little House on the Prairie, the Musical with Melissa Gilbert as “Ma,” will open Tuesday, May 11 at 8 p.m. All performances are at the Music Hall at Fair Park, with the following performance schedule:

Tuesday May 11 8 p.m.

Wednesday May 12 8 p.m.

Thursday May 13 8 p.m.

Friday May 14 8 p.m.

Saturday May 15 2 and 8 p.m.

Sunday May 16 2 and 8 p.m.

Tuesday May 17 8 p.m.

Wednesday May 18 8 p.m.

Thursday May 19 8 p.m.

Friday May 20 2 and 8 p.m.

Saturday May 21 2 and 8 p.m.

Sunday May 22 2 p.m.


Next up for Dallas Summer Musicals will be WICKED, May 26-June 27; DREAMGIRLS, June 30-July 18; and the State Fair of Texas musical, SHREK THE MUSICAL, September 28-October 17, 2010.


Season sponsors for Dallas Summer Musicals, presented by Comerica Bank, are WFAA TV Channel 8 and American Airlines. Now celebrating its 70th season, Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the largest producer of live theatrical entertainment in the Southwest, the second oldest summer theater organization in the United States, and the sixth largest non-profit theater company. DSM has been entertaining North Texas audiences with the finest in live, musical theatre entertainment since 1941. In addition to presenting national Broadway tours, DSM also produces shows on Broadway, presents and tours local productions, and is involved in developing new works. Dallas Summer Musicals’ affiliates include DSM Management Group, Inc. (DSMMGI), which manages the Music Hall at Fair Park.


As a non-profit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas at affordable ticket prices, as well as to preserve the beautiful historic theatres, educate young audiences and create important community programs. DSM’s Seats for Kids program provides a meaningful arts education experience to thousands of low income, at-risk and special needs children. DSM and the Dallas Police Department partner together to provide positive incentives for youth that are at risk for gang membership through the Stage Right program. In addition, the DSM Academy of Performing Arts offers professional theatre arts training and scholarships to talented students in need. Ticket sales alone do not sustain these endeavors. Only support from committed businesses, foundations and individuals make these programs possible. For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, presented by Comerica Bank, visit their website at www.dallassummermusicals.org or call (214) 421-5678.


# # #


For media information about this show or the Dallas Summer Musicals, and for videotape, photos, interviews or reviewer’s passes, please call Jo Ann Holt at 469-363-7371 or send inquiries to joannholt@gmail.com.


National Tour Press Representative:

Type A Marketing

Jenna Gilfoil

212-307-0800


Local Press Representative:

Jo Ann Holt

DSM publicist

469-363-7371

Xanadu Gets a Rave Review!

Written by DSM Columnists on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Theater review: Summer Musicals' 'Xanadu' beats Broadway version

11:22 PM CDT on Tuesday, April 6, 2010
By LAWSON TAITTE / The Dallas Morning News
ltaitte@dallasnews.com

They've turned lots of old movies into musicals. Xanadu sets the record for improvement; it's the best musical from the worst film.

The 1980 Olivia Newton-John stinkeroo did produce a lot of hits by Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne and the star's favorite songwriter, John Farrar. Two seasons ago, a stage version opened on Broadway with a new book by comic playwright Douglas Carter Beane (who penned Give It Up! for the Dallas Theater Center earlier this year). It was a surprise hit with critics and audiences alike. The national tour hit the Dallas Summer Musicals on Tuesday with an explosive bang.

This company belongs to the growing number of tours that actually play better on the road than they did on the Great White Way. Many Broadway producers seem to feel they must cast names recognizable to New York audiences, and that's a limited pool of talent. You can't really call many of these performers stars in the old sense, and the shows surely aren't tailored to them. Fortunately for us out here in the sticks, the producers feel free to use less-familiar faces, sometimes much more able in their roles, on tour.

Thus, the gorgeous Anika Larsen, as the muse Clio who falls in love with a California painter, really looks like a goddess and sounds like one, too. As the clueless artist, Danny, Max von Essen is funnier and more consistent in his Valley Boy accent (and a more secure singer) than his Broadway predecessor.

The superiority in this production continues pretty much all the way down the line. Natasha Yvette Williams and Annie Golden are especially delicious as the comic villains. As the aging owner of the building Danny wants to turn into a roller derby, Larry Williams turns a dreary role into a lovable one.

Xanadu played in the smallest house on Broadway, but it feels liberated, rather than dwarfed, in the immensity of Fair Park Music Hall. The audience catches all of Beane's well-crafted in-jokes. This is one self-reflective musical that doesn't take itself too seriously, or seriously at all.

Thanks to Christopher Ashley's witty direction and Dan Knechtges' inventive choreography, Xanadu might just be the best time you have at a musical this season.

PLAN YOUR LIFE: Through April 18 at Fair Park Music Hall. Runs 100 mins. $15 to $71. Ticketmaster at 214-631-2787, www.ticketmaster.com


To see the review on The Dallas Morning News' website, follow this link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/stories/DN-xanadu08_0408gd.State.Edition1.41785f7.html