Stroman helms Vineyard production of musical
“The Scottsboro Boys,” a new tuner from composer-lyricist duo John Kander and the late Fred Ebb, has locked down a slot at Off Broadway’s Vineyard Theater, where it will begin perfs in February.David Thompson pens the book based on the true story of a group of African-American teens wrongly accused of assaulting two white women in the 1930s. Susan Stroman (“The Producers”) helms the show, which the Vineyard had already flagged as under consideration. Like Kander and Ebb’s “Curtains,” which preemed on Broadway in 2007, “Scottsboro” was one of the tuners left unfinished when lyricist Ebb died in 2004 but which Kander has since worked to complete. Musical was developed over a series of readings and workshops at the Vineyard last year and earlier this year and had previously been announced for a lab production that would take place this season. Stroman choreographed the Vineyard revival of Kander and Ebb’s “Flora, The Red Menace” in 1987. Thompson previously worked with Kander and Ebb as the script adapter for the still-running 1996 revival of “Chicago” and as book writer for 1997 outing “Steel Pier.” Given the pedigree of “The Scottsboro Boys,” Gotham legiters will seem certain to keep a close eye on the show for Broadway potential. Kander and Ebb’s long list of Rialto credits includes “Cabaret,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Chicago” and “Woman of the Year,” while Stroman’s work was last seen on the Main Stem with “Young Frankenstein.” The Vineyard previously co-produced tuner “Avenue Q,” which went on to a Tony-winning Rialto run. “Scottsboro” begins Off Broadway previews Feb. 12 ahead of a March 10 opening. Casting and creative team remain to be announced.