Paper Mill Playhouse will open its 2019-2020 season with a highly anticipated new musical about one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons.
“Paper Mill Playhouse is thrilled to produce two world premieres and a New Jersey premiere as part of our all-musical lineup,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director of the Millburn theater. “Producing new works is central to our vision of becoming recognized as one of the most important incubators of new musical projects. We’re opening our doors to collaborate with and host the top talents of musical theater, both established artists like Andrew Lloyd Webber and up-and-coming playwrights and composers.
PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE’S 2019-2020 SEASON
CHASING RAINBOWS: The Road to Oz
September 26–October 27
Book by Marc Acito
Music Adapted by & Additional Music by David Libby
Conceived by & Additional Lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento
Directed & Choreographed by Denis Jones
Major Sponsor: Bank of America
Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland’s early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity. At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Everybody Sing,”Chasing Rainbows is a poignant coming-of-age tale about “the little girl with the big voice,” who went on to become one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons. The show has already earned praise from Liza Minnelli, who said, “My mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.”
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA
November 20–December 29
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
New Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
Choreographed by JoAnn M. Hunter
Directed by Mark S. Hoebee
Major Sponsor: The Goren Family and the Harmony Helper App
This enchanting, Tony-nominated Broadway adaptation of the beloved musical will put a spell on audiences of all ages. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella showcases some of the songwriting duo’s loveliest tunes, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” as well as some new characters and surprising twists. Add a dash of fairytale romance, magical onstage transformations, and the iconic pumpkin and glass slippers—and you’re guaranteed to have a ball!
UNMASKED: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber
January 30–March 1
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Written with Richard Curtis
Directed by Laurence Connor
Choreographed by JoAnn M. Hunter
Major Sponsor: JPMorgan Chase & Co.
One of the most successful musical theater composers of all time takes audiences on a behind-the-scenes journey in Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Written with Richard Curtis and directed by Laurence Connor, Unmasked is a not-always-reverential look at Andrew’s life and musical career. You’ll hear his best-loved work, including classics from Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Sunset Boulevard, in sometimes new and unexpected ways. This new production will also feature new material and rediscovered gems, along with the history of their creation intertwined with Andrew’s extraordinary personal story.
April 1–April 26
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Book by Cheri Steinkellner & Bill Steinkellner
Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane
Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture Sister Act Written by Joseph Howard
Based on the 1992 hit film, this feel-good musical comedy smash sizzles with powerful music, spectacular dancing, and a story brimming with heart. The madcap plot is set in motion when disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder and must go into hiding in a convent—where she clashes, hilariously, with cloistered life. Deloris inspires the sisters with her soulful style, but the church choir’s newfound fame attracts the attention of the bad guys. Featuring original music by Tony and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), the musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
May 28–June 28
Book by Charles Messina
Choreographed by Sarah O’Gleby
Directed by Kenneth Ferone
Signature Support: The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation
Dion. One name set the standard of cool for a generation. But how does a kid from the Bronx make it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? In The Wanderer, the incredible musical journey of a troubled young man turned teenage heartthrob (and, ultimately, rock and roll icon) is told in intimate and no-holds-barred detail. Dion’s music helped define a generation of rock and rollers. His lifelong battle with addiction shed a stark light on the darker side of fame and success. This musical takes both subjects head on, set to the iconic sound of an incomparable era in American music, and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. The Wanderer is the riveting true story of Dion, New York’s rebel king, the man Bruce Springsteen calls “the link between Frank Sinatra and rock and roll.”
To learn more go to www.PaperMill.org for tickets, dates, Director’s Viewpoint Series, Conversation Club Series, Q&As with the cast, and more.
Paper Mill Playhouse recently announced casting for its season opener Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award nominee Denis Jones, orchestrations by Larry Blank and David Libby with music direction by Lawrence Yurman, the principal cast features Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Judy Garland/Frances Gumm, Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Paper Mill’s The Baker’s Wife) as Frank Gumm, Olivier Award-winnerLesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, And the World Goes ‘Round) as Ma Lawlor/Kay Koverman, Stephen DeRosa (Into the Woods, HBO’sBoardwalk Empire) as Louis B. Mayer, Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tuck Everlasting) as Mickey Rooney, and Colin Hanlon (ABC’s Modern Family, Paper Mill’s Benny & Joon) as Roger Edens.
Paper Mill Playhouse, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Michael Stotts (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country’s leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.