Kate DiCamillo's first novel, "Because of Winn-Dixie," is now a musical. /Tom Wallace

A long-in-the-works musical based on Minneapolis writer  -- and 2014 Star Tribune Artist of the Year -- Kate DiCamillo's "Because of Winn-Dixie" is inching towards Broadway, both geographically and theoretically.

With music by "Spring Awakening" composer Duncan Sheik and words by "Mean Girls" lyricist Nell Benjamin, "Because of Winn Dixie" will appear at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut in June 2019 (punctuation fans will note that DiCamillo's book places a hyphen between "Winn" and "Dixie," the name of a popular grocery store chain in the South, but the musical is skipping the hypen).

The 2001 Newbery Honor book is about a girl whose friendship with a mutt, also named Winn-Dixie, transforms the small town where they live. The musical version reportedly has been reworked since its 2013 world premiere at Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

In the past, Goodspeed productions including "The Most Happy Fella" and "By Jeeves" have transferred to Broadway and the Goodspeed site broadly hints "Winn Dixie" might be headed for a similar fate, indicating that the show has "high prospects for a life after Goodspeed."

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