EXCLUSIVE: The Mystic Pizza stage musical announced last year will get delivered this summer in a first production at the Playhouse in Ogunquit, ME, and the show will have some unexpected ingredients.
When announced last year, prior to the Covid-19 theater shutdown, the musical adaptation of the 1988 Julia Roberts film was to have featured a score of Melissa Etheridge songs, and while some Etheridge hits remain in the production, the score has been expanded to include other hit songs from the late 1980s-early 1990s including by such artists John Cougar Mellencamp, Debbie Gibson, Robert Palmer, Berlin, Van Morrison, The Supremes/Phil Collins, Kim Wilde, Mike and the Mechanics, Fine Young Cannibals, Tiffany, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams and Starship.
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Also over the course of the last year, original director-co-writer Gordon Greenberg and co-writer Sas Goldberg have departed the project — “creative reasons,” per the production. Now directing is Casey Hushion, who recently directed the new play Clue at the Cleveland Playhouse. Clue‘s writer, Sandy Rustin, will re-team with Hushion on Mystic Pizza, with arrangements and orchestrations by Carmel Dean (American Idiot).
Production dates along with the cast and remainder of the creative team will be announced shortly, as will a ticket on sale date. Mystic Pizza will be published and licensed by Concord Theatricals. Plans beyond the Ogunquit staging have not been announced.
The changes, as well as the Ogunquit premiere, were announced Tuesday by Lively McCabe Entertainment executive producer Michael Barra, and Ogunquit Playhouse executive artistic director Bradford T. Kenney. Lively McCabe is also the producer behind Clue, based on the film and the Hasbro board game.
The Mystic Pizza film, written by Amy Holden Jones, starred Roberts, Annabeth Gish and Lili Taylor as waitresses at a Mystic, CT, pizza parlor, their working class lives in stark contrast to the town’s country club set. Matt Damon had a small role as one of the latter, with a memorable dinner conversation quip about the “green stuff” in his lobster.
“We’re so happy to be partnering with Brad and his entire team at Ogunquit Playhouse,” says Barra. “They’ve been involved from the very beginning, and have been incredibly accommodating during our modified development process this past year, and we can’t wait to welcome audiences to see the show later this summer.”
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