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Stroman tunes up ‘Raquin’

Zola classic to get Connick touch

This article was corrected on August 17, 2000.

After helming “The Music Man” and before starting rehearsals on “The Producers,” director-choreographer Susan Stroman will find time to workshop her new legit collaboration with Harry Connick Jr. and David Thompson — a musical version of Emile Zola’s novel “Therese Raquin.”

The workshop will take place Sept. 18 under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater, which now houses Stroman’s “Contact” at its Vivian Beaumont Theater. LCT commissioned the dance play, which won the Tony for best musical of 1999-2000, with book by John Weidman.

“This is not a commission,” Lincoln Center executive producer Bernard Gersten said of “Therese Raquin.” “It is Stro’s project. She brought it to us, and we are doing it.”

Gersten said Neil Patrick Harris and newcomer Daniel G. Pino had been cast in the Zola story, about a shopgirl who conspires with her lover to kill her feeble husband. The female lead for the workshop has not yet been cast.

Connick musical debut

The project marks Connick’s debut as a composer-lyricist for the theater. The singer-pianist has performed on soundtracks for the films “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Thompson wrote the book for John Kander and Fred Ebb’s 1997 musical, “Steel Pier,” which Stroman choreographed.

Regardless of how the “Therese Raquin” workshop is received, a full-scale staging of the musical will have to wait until Stroman finishes work on “The Producers,” which is expected to open on Broadway next spring. Mel Brooks’ musical stage version of his 1968 film stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

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