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Goodspeed’s season a ‘Pip’

Opera House's '06 sked getting in gear

Hillbillies, pirates and a revised revival of a Stephen Schwartz musical — which is primed to tour — will make up the 2006 season at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn.

“Li’l Abner,” “Pippin” and “The Pirates of Penzance” will mark a feel-good season, with “Pippin” poised to hit the road after its summer run. “Pippin,” which Schwartz is “tweaking,” is the second national tour under the Goodspeed Musicals banners, following the 2005 revival of “The Boy Friend,” directed by Julie Andrews.

It will be a Schwartzian season of sorts at Goodspeed. The season kicks off April 21-July 2 with “Li’l Abner,” helmed by Scott Schwartz, son of the composer and a prolific director. Patti Colombo will choreograph the 1956 show based on Al Capp’s cartoon characters, which has music by Gene de Paul and lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

“Pippin,” helmed by Gabriel Barre and choreographed by Mark Dendy, will follow July 14-Sept. 24 before beginning its tour.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” will take on a “Pirates of the Caribbean” flavor in “an environmental production.” It will play Oct. 6-Dec. 10. Gordon Greenberg directs the co-production with New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, which will present the show in spring 2007.

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