Company plans musical workshop production of classic tale

A new musical adaptation of “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” — with music by Henry Krieger (“Dreamgirls”) and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (“Jelly’s Last Jam”) — is on tap for a developmental production from Connecticut’s Goodspeed Musicals.

Daniel Goldfarb (“Martin Short: Fame Becoes Me”) writes the book for the adaptation, called “Radio Girl.” Helming the show is Christopher Gattelli, whose Rialto choreography credits include “South Pacific” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” He recently directed “Jim Henson’s Emmett Otter” at Goodspeed’s Opera House in East Haddam, Conn.

The new tuner about a plucky orphan girl in Depression-era America is based on the 1903 children’s book by Kate Douglas Wiggin and the 1938 20th Century Fox film that starred Shirley Temple. Musical will receive a workshop production that runs July 29-Aug. 22 at Goodspeed Musical’s Norma Terris Theater in Chester, Conn.

Combination of the creatives’ Broadway pedigree and the familiar “Sunnybrook Farm” storyline seems likely to attract attention from legit presenters and producers on the lookout for family-friendly product.

Opening the three-show Goodspeed season in Chester is “Band Geeks!” (May 16-June 6), directed by Gordon Greenberg. A third musical. yet to be named, is slated for October-November.

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