OAKBROOK, ILL.: Drury Lane Productions has announced that its upcoming theatrical season will begin with Hazel (March 31, 2016–May 29, 2016), the world premiere of a new musical based on Ted Key’s Saturday Evening Post cartoon character. The new musical will be directed by Broadway choreographer Joshua Bergasse.
“From the moment we discovered Hazel, we fell in love with it,” said Kyle DeSantis, president and CEO of Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center, in a statement. “The production solidifies our commitment to fostering new work we believe in. Under the incredible direction of Bergasse, Hazel promises to delight and surprise our audiences.”
Featuring music by Ron Abel, lyrics by Chuck Steffan, and a book by Lissa Levin, Hazel will star Klea Blackhurst as the title character, a role previously portrayed by Shirley Booth in the 1961–66 television series of the same name.
After Hazel will be a production of Ira Levin’s Deathtrap (June 9, 2016–Aug. 14, 2016), Broadway’s long-running murder-mystery comedy.
Smokey Joe’s Café (Sept. 1, 2016–Oct. 23, 2016) will follow. With music and lyrics by pop duo Jerry Leiber and Mik Stoller, Smokey Joe’s Café features a jukebox score of classic rock-and-roll hits performed by an ensemble cast.
Next is Crazy for You (Nov. 3, 2016–Jan. 8, 2017), Ken Ludwig’s musical compilation of classic Gershwin numbers set to a screwball plot in rural Nevada.
The season will conclude with Saturday Night Fever (Jan. 19, 2017–March 19, 2017). Based on 1977’s iconic John Travolta film vehicle, Fever features an updated book by Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti and a musical score by The Bee Gees.
“When the Saturday Night Fever team approached us to bring to life the new script, we jumped at the opportunity to put our efforts behind a story that celebrates the music of The Bee Gees in such an iconic way,” said artistic director William Osetek in a statement. “From great American classics to never-before-seen work, we’re very excited about the new opportunities these productions bring us. We look forward to bringing these productions to life, celebrating composition from playwrights and songwriters alike.”