Paper Mill Playhouse, the premiere not-for-profit theater located in Millburn, N.J., has announced the lineup for its 2014-15 season. The 76th annual season will be made up of one Tony-winning play and four musicals, three of which have long-rumored Broadway-transfer potential.
First up, a revival of “Can-Can,” Cole Porter’s rousing musical comedy last seen on Broadway in 1981. Driving this production will be an extensive revision to the original Abe Barrows-book, written by Joel Fields (“Ugly Betty,” “The Americans”) and David Lee (“Fraiser,” “Cheers”). Lee will also direct, with choreography by Paper Mill-regular Patti Colombo. Performances will run Oct. 1-26. This production of “Can-Can” is expected to transfer to Broadway soon thereafter, with Jonathan Burrows (nephew of Abe) producing.
The holiday musical “Elf” makes its way to Jersey in time for the holidays, running Nov. 6 through Jan 4, 2015. Following that will be a production of Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony-winning Best Play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”
In March 2015, Paper Mill will to present the U.S. premiere of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Bringing the popular 1996 animated film -- itself inspired by Victor Hugo’s classic tale -- to the stage will be director Scott Schwartz and book writer Peter Parnell. The legendary team of composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Newsies,” “Beauty and the Beast”) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin,” “Godspell”), who together penned the Academy Award-nominated film score, will once again reteam for the stage production. “Hunchback” runs from March 4 through April 5.
This isn’t the first time Disney Theatrical Productions has produced a stage version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” A version of the show ran in Berlin, Germany for three years – becoming one of Berlin’s longest-running musicals (and the first show Disney’s ever premiered outside of the U.S.). This also isn’t the first time Paper Mill has partnered with Disney Theatrical. They previously premiered productions of “High School Musical” and “Newsies,” the latter which transferred to Broadway in 2012 and continues to captivate audiences at the Nederlander Theatre. If it reviews well, a Broadway transfer for this “Hunchback” wouldn’t be far behind.
Paper Mill will close out its season with the world premiere of another highly-anticipated musical, “Ever After.” Adapted from the 1998 Drew Barrymore film of the same name, “Ever After” flips the Cinderella story on its head, with a modern, post-feminism interpretation sans of any fairy godmothers, magic pumpkins or talking mice. Tony winner Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreograph the show, which features music by Zina Goldrich and a book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler. A Broadway run for “Ever After” had been previously rumored for the 2007-08 season and 2013-14 season, so don’t be surprised if talks of a transfer resurface.
Casting has not been annoucned for any of these shows at this time.
Tickets and subscriptions to Paper Mill’s 2014-15 season may be purchased by calling (973) 376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.