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The Children’s Theatre lineup for 2014-15 includes “Busytown the Musical,” adapted from Richard Scarry’s 1960s children’s books.

Joel Koyama • Star Tribune file photo,

Children's Theatre lineup includes 3 musicals

  • Article by: Rohan Preston
  • Star Tribune
  • February 14, 2014 - 9:09 AM

The Children’s Theatre will stage three musicals next season, including “Busytown the Musical,” adapted by playwright Kevin Kling and composer Michael Koerner from Richard Scarry’s 1960s children’s books, and the company’s first production of the Broadway musical “Peter Pan,” to be directed by Peter Rothstein.

The company’s 2014-15 season includes a revival of “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!”; the premiere of Paul Fleischman’s “Seedfolks” starring Sonja Parks; and an adaptation of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Ryan Underbakke and Nick Ryan. That show will take place throughout the theater, including underneath the stage.

The lineup is “a dream fulfilled,” said artistic director Peter Brosius. “We’ve been trying to land some of these artists for years, and the stars all aligned.”

The new season kicks off with “Busytown,” which premiered at the Seattle Children’s Theatre in 2008. It follows Huckle the cat and Lowly the worm as they have everyday adventures. (Sept. 16-Oct. 26).

Fleischman adapts his own book, “Seedfolks,” for the stage. It’s about a vacant urban lot that comes back to life after a girl plants a bean seed in it. Brosius directs Parks, who plays all 13 characters in the story (Sept. 30-Nov. 9).

Brosius also directs the revival of “The Grinch,” one of the most successful shows in the company’s repertory. That holiday production has returning star Reed Sigmund in the title role and H. Adam Harris as dog narrator Old Max (Nov. 11-Jan. 4, 2015).

Gale LaJoye, a Chaplin-esque master of clowning and comic turns, brings “Snowflake” to the Twin Cities for the first time. The show, which has toured widely, tells the story of an outsider finding a place in the world (Jan. 13-Feb. 22, 2015).

CTC is bringing back “The Biggest Little House in the Forest,” adapted by Rosanna Staffa from Djemma Bider’s picture book. Brosius directs this preschool show (Feb. 3-March 15, 2015).

Inventive British director Greg Banks, a Children’s Theatre regular, has adapted “Huck Finn” as a three-man show. Ansa Akyea joins company members Dean Holt and Sigmund in telling this Mark Twain classic (March 3-April 4, 2015).

No casting has been announced for “Peter Pan,” which will be the big spring show (April 21-June 21, 2015).

The season closes with “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” a science-fiction classic that is being produced in the immersive style of British troupe Punchdrunk. The audience never sits as the production roams the corridors, underground warrens and trap cellars of the theater (July 7-Aug. 30, 2015).

“It’s like being in a live-action video game,” said Brosius. “We remove the fourth wall. Audience members are part of the ship.”

Season ticket packages are on sale, 612-874-0400 or online at www.childrenstheatre.org.

 

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

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