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‘Machine’ man will duet on Shaw tuner

Joshua Schmidt, Austin Pendleton collaborating

“Adding Machine” composer Joshua Schmidt will collaborate with Austin Pendleton on adapting Shaw’s “Candida” into a musical for Writers’ Theater in Glencoe, Ill., outside Chicago.

Schmidt’s chamber opera version of the Elmer Rice 1923 Expressionist drama “Adding Machine” started not far away, at Evanston’s Next Theater, before moving Off Broadway, where it recently received six Lucille Lortel noms.

In addition to Pendleton, Schmidt’s collaborators on the untitled “Candida” project, which runs May 19-July 19, 2009, include lyricist Jan Tranen and director Michael Halberstam, who also conceived the project.

Halberstam helped found Writers’ Theater in 1992 and is now artistic director. He helmed the production of “Crime and Punishment” that introduced the theater company to New York auds last year, at Off Broadway’s 59E59.

Other projects announced for Writers’ Theater season include a remounting of “Nixon’s Nixon” by Russell Lees, directed by Halberstam; a revival of William Inge’s “Picnic” directed by “Adding Machine” helmer David Cromer; Genet’s “The Maids”; and the world premiere of “Old Glory” by Chicago scribe Brett Neveu.

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