Houston audiences will be among the first in the world to experience Stephen Sondheim’s latest musical Road Show. Stages Repertory Theatre will produce the musical, with book by John Weidman, in its first production outside of New York and the West End. Producing artistic director Kenn McLaughlin directs this regional premiere with Tom Frey and L. Jay Meyer in the roles of Wilson and Addison Mizner, brothers on an adventure across America from the beginning of the 20th century to the Florida real estate boom in the 1920s.
McLaughlin seeks out regional or world premieres for most of the Stages season. “The chance to produce new work was the first impulse, but the minute I heard the score I fell totally in love,” he says about producing Road Show in its first production outside of New York and the West End. McLaughlin connected to the story of a bond between brothers. “I grew up with five brothers and am very close to one who is also a creative-type so the way in which these two brothers influence each other over time really spoke to me.”
Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman reconstructed former incarnations of this musical titled Bounce (with productions in Chicago and Washington, D.C. in 2003) and Wise Guys and Gold! which led to this new version of Road Show, sharply rewritten without an intermission, opening Off-Broadway at The Public Theater’s Newman Theater in 2008. John Doyle directed and designed this New York production with Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani playing brothers Wilson and Addison Mizner. Road Show proceeded to win the 2009 Obie Award for Music and Lyrics and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics for Stephen Sondheim.
The journey of this musical through title changes and rewrites shows a passion for the show’s story and themes. “Ideally the title is connected to what we hope the show is about,” Weidman says.
Road Show reveals a search for the American Dream, a concept that is explored in this season’s Surround, a series of lectures and exhibits that examine the context of a play in Stages Repertory Theatre’s season. With Dollhouse and Sondheim’s Road Show, the Surround will explore the economy of the American Dream. For more information about the Surround schedule and events, contact Eva Laporte at email@example.com.
Road Show will preview May 22 and May 23, and opens Friday May 24, running through June 30, 2013. Patrons can purchase tickets ($21- $54) at the box office, by phone 713.527.0123 or www.stagestheatre.com.