Early productions for two Hollywood-title tuners — “Secondhand Lions” and “The Jungle Book” — and the world premiere of a musical likely to land in New York are among the slew of notable productions to wash up in the wave of 2013-14 season announcements from regional theaters around the country.
The long-gestating tuner adaptation of 2003 New Line heart-tugger “Secondhand Lions” — which has been shepherded over the years by Mark Kaufman, the former New Line exec who’s now one of the toppers of Warner Bros. Theater Ventures — will bow at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater in the fall (Sept. 10-Oct. 6). Show, with book by Rupert Holmes and tunes by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, is billed as a 5th Avenue Theater production, but it’s understood that Warner Bros. will be affiliated in some way, official or not. Scott Schwartz helms.
Meanwhile, Mary Zimmerman’s stage version of “The Jungle Book,” which preems at Chicago’s Goodman Theater in June, will get its second incarnation this fall at Boston’s Huntington Theater, where the show, produced in association with the Goodman, will run Sept. 7-Oct. 6. Disney Theatrical Prods. has its eye on the project for potential future life, even if the longtime success of “The Lion King” may keep the title from landing in Gotham anytime soon.
Next spring, Dallas Theater Center will debut a musical adaptation of Jonathan Lethem novel “The Fortress of Solitude,” from “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” tunesmith Michael Friedman, book writer Itamar Moses and director Daniel Aukin, also credited as a co-creator.
Even though no future life for the tuner has been confirmed, the fact that DTC presents “Fortress” (March 7-April 6, 2014) as a co-production with New York’s Public Theater indicates the title is a good candidate for an upcoming slate at the Gotham nonprofit.