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‘Prairie’ producers eye 2009 tour

Stage adaptation currently previewing in MN

Commercial producers of the new tuner version of “Little House on the Prairie” are actively at work on a national tour of the show that would go out in early fall 2009.

Currently in previews at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater, “Little House” has drawn strong crowds, with high ticket demand prompting a two-week extension of its run. Show is eyeing a Rialto run later this season, pending critical reception of the show’s opening Friday at the Guthrie.

Tour would likely be a separate production from the potential Gotham incarnation, although no plans for the future life of “Prairie” are yet set in stone.

“It could be Broadway, it could be Broadway and the tour, it could be just the tour,” said producer Ben Sprecher. “We’re keeping all our options open.”

New stage adaptation of the frontier-life story of Laura Ingalls Wilder has music by Rachel Portman, lyrics by Donna di Novelli and book by Rachel Sheinkin (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”). Francesca Zambello (“The Little Mermaid”) directs a cast toplined by Melissa Gilbert, who launched her career playing Laura in the 1974-83 “Little House” TV skein.

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