Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) is pleased to announce the world premiere of the new musical Death Takes a Holiday, with a book by Peter Stone & Thomas Meehan, music & lyrics by Maury Yeston, directed by Doug Hughes. Death Takes a Holiday is based on the dramatic play by Alberto Casella, rewritten for the American stage by Walter Ferris, and originally produced by Messrs. Shubert.
Death Takes a Holiday will begin performances on Friday, June 10, 2011 and open officially on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This production marks the second time a new musical has been presented in this theatrical space, following the recent production of The Tin Pan Alley Rag.
Death Takes a Holiday will feature musical direction by Kevin Stites. The cast and design team members will be announced shortly.
In Death Takes a Holiday, it’s just after the first World War and the loneliest of souls arrives at an Italian villa disguised as a handsome young Prince, and for the first time experiences the joys and heartbreaks of life. But when he unexpectedly falls in love with a newly engaged young woman, the mysterious stranger discovers that love may in fact be stronger than death. Directed by Tony® winner Doug Hughes (Doubt), this soaring tale of love is adapted by Tony®-winning writers Peter Stone (1776) and Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray), and features lush, romantic songs by Tony® winner Maury Yeston (Nine, Titanic).
Casssella’s play has inspired many recreations of his famous story, in radio, television and film. The 1934 film Death Takes a Holiday was followed by a 1937 airing on Cecil B. Demille’s Lux Radio Theatre, a 1971 television production and the 1998 Hollywood remake titled Meet Joe Black.
Roundabout is pleased to welcome composer & librettist Maury Yeston back to their stage following their Tony-winning collaboration on the 2003 revival of NINE starring Antonio Banderas. Roundabout resident Director Doug Hughes most recently staged the Broadway production of Mrs. Warren’s Profession starring Cherry Jones & Sally Hawkins.
Tickets will be available on Monday, January 24th by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre box office (111 West 46 Street). Ticket prices range from $76-$86. Death Takes a Holiday will play a limited engagement through September 4, 2011.
To become a Roundabout subscriber visit www.roundabouttheatre.org or call Roundabout Ticket Services (212)719-1300.
Death Takes a Holiday will play Tuesday through Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre reflects Roundabout’s commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $45 million to more than 100 not-for-profit theatre organizations.
PETER STONE (Book) has won four Tonys and six nominations. Broadway: Titanic, 1776, The Will Rogers Follies and Woman of the Year all won for best musical. His other Broadway musicals include My One and Only, Sugar, Two By Two, and Kean, the Kander & Ebb musical Curtains – a musical born out of Mr. Stone’s lifelong love of the theatre. He won an Academy Award for his screenplay Father Goose, the Edgar (Mystery Writers of America) for his film Charade, and the Christopher Award for the screen adaptation of 1776. Mr. Stone’s other films include The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, Sweet Charity, Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? and Just Cause. Writing for TV, he won the Emmy Award for an episode of “The Defenders.” Mr. Stone is the only writer to ever win the Tony, Oscar and Emmy.
THOMAS MEEHAN (Book). Thomas Meehan won the 2003 Tony Award for co-writing the book for Hairspray after having won the 2001 Tony Award for co-writing the book of The Producers. He received his first Tony Award in 1977 for writing the book of Annie, which was his first Broadway show, and he has since written books for the musicals I Remember Mam; Ain’t Broadway Grand; Annie Warbucks and the American version of Bombay Dreams. His most recent works are the Broadway musical Young Frankenstein, for which he co-wrote the book with Mel Brooks, Cry-Baby, co-written with Mark O’Donnell, and Elf, co-written with Bob Martin. In addition, he is a long-time contributor of humor pieces, including Yma Dream, to The New Yorker; an Emmy Award-winning writer of television comedy; and a collaborator on a number of screenplays, including Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs; To Be or Not to Be and the film version of The Producers. He is also the co-author of the libretto of 1984, an opera composed by Lorin Maazel, based on George Orwell’s classic novel, which had its world premiere in the spring of 2005 at London’s Royal Opera House, has also been performed at La Scala, in Milan, and will next be staged in Valencia. Mr. Meehan is a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild and a recent winner of the Oscar Hammerstein award for lifetime achievement in the musical theatre.
MAURY YESTON (Music & Lyrics). Maury Yeston is a composer, lyricist, author and teacher, and moves easily between the worlds of theater, film, and academia, writing concert music, Broadway shows, and holding teaching posts as a respected musicologist. Theater and Film: In addition to winning his second Tony Award for Best Score for Broadway’s Titanic (which won five Tonys including Best Musical), Yeston won a Tony Award and two Drama Desk Awards for his music and lyrics to Broadway’s Nine (based on Fellini’s “8 ½”). That production won four additional Tonys, including Best Musical. The Broadway revival of Nine, starring Antonio Banderas, won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Yeston’s contribution to the score for Broadway’s Grand Hotel was nominated for a Tony and two Drama Desk Awards, and the Donmar Warehouse London production of this show won the Olivier Award. His score for Phantom has received national and international acclaim and is currently in production across America and Europe and Japan. The film adaptation of Nine, directed by Rob Marshall features Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Dame Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Fergie, and Sophia Loren, with a screenplay by Anthony Minghella and Michael Tolkin, and was nominated for 5 Golden Globes and 4 Academy Awards. Yeston was nominated for a Critics Choice and Golden Globe for Best Original Song (“Cinema Italiano”) and an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Take It All”). Concert: Yeston’s music and lyrics cover a wide variety of styles, from his Cello Concerto (premiered by Yo Yo Ma) to the concert album “Goya– A Life In Song,” (featuring Placido Domingo and Gloria Estefan). The song “Till I Loved You,” from the “Goya” album became a Top 40 hit for Barbra Streisand. Yeston was commissioned by Carnegie Hall to write the modern classical crossover “December Songs” for its centennial celebration. Commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, he composed “An American Cantata – 2000 Voices” – a choral symphony in three movements for the National Symphony Orchestra and 2000 singers, conducted by Leonard Slatkin and premiered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in July of 2000. Recordings and Incidental Music: Twice nominated for a Grammy Award, Yeston’s recordings include cast albums of Nine Titanic, Phantom, Grand Hotel, The Maury Yeston Songbook, December Songs, Goya, and the Film Soundtrack of Nine. Yeston also wrote the incidental music to the Broadway 2009 hit revival of The Royal Family, directed by Doug Hughes, and to the legendary Off Broadway premiere of Cloud 9, directed by Tommy Tune. Upcoming Works: Scheduled for 2011 is Yeston’s new full-length Ballet – Tom Sawyer, commissioned for the Kansas City Ballet to inaugurate Kansas City’s new Opera House and Arts Center. Academia and Honors: Yeston holds a PhD. from Yale University and BA and MA degrees from both Yale and Clare College, Cambridge University. He is the author of “The Stratification of Musical Rhythm” (Yale Press) – a seminal music theory text noted for its groundbreaking innovation in the theory of rhythm. He was Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Music Studies at Yale for eight years and has been Director of the BMI Music Theatre Advanced Workshop in New York City for over twenty years. He is a lifetime member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild, and on the Board of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, The Kleban Foundation and The Kurt Weill Foundation. He also serves on the editorial boards of Musical Quarterly and the advisory board of the Yale University Press Broadway Series. Yeston was named the 1997-1998 Kayden Visiting Artist at Harvard University, received The Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center Creative Arts Award in New York as Artist of The Year, and was The Encompass Opera’s Lifetime Achievement Honoree in 2009.
DOUG HUGHES (Director). Recent Broadway productions include The Royal Family, Elling, Oleanna, A Man for All Seasons, Mauritius, Inherit the Wind, A Touch of the Poet, Frozen and Doubt. This is Mr. Hughes’ eigth production with Roundabout Theatre, where he serves as the resident director. He has directed on and Off-Broadway and for most of the nation’s leading theatre companies. For his work on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt he received the 2005 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. He has also received Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics, Obie and Callaway awards for his productions.
Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.
Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout’s mission. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout’s Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.
American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; and the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York.
Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season features Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring and directed by Brian Bedford; Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore starring Olympia Dukakis, directed by Michael Wilson; Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster & Joel Grey, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall; David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy, directed by Evan Cabnet and Stoller, Stoller, Butler & Dart’s The People in the Picture, starring Donna Murphy, directed by Leonard Foglia; Stone, Meehan & Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday, directed by Doug Hughes.