‘Little Miss Sunshine’ musical to premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in February

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That quirky clan from ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is heading to the stage.

The La Jolla Playhouse has announced it will present the world premiere of William Finn and James Lapine’s musical based on the 2006 Oscar-winning film about the down-on-its-luck Hoover family, who make a crazy road trip to help Olive (Abigail Breslin) pursue her dream of winning a children’s beauty pageant.

Tony winner Finn will write the music and lyrics and Tony winner Lapine will direct and write the book for the production, which will run Feb. 15 through March 27 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.

‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ released by Big Beach Films and Fox Searchlight, won Oscars for original screenplay and supporting actor -- Alan Arkin -- who was part of a cast that included Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano and Greg Kinnear.


Finn may be best known for his trilogy of short musicals ‘In Trousers,’ ‘March of the Falsettos’ and ‘Falsettoland.’ ‘Falsettos,’ a combination of ‘March of the Falsettos’ and ‘Falsettoland,’ won 1992 Tonys for Finn’s score and for a book written by Finn and Lapine. Finn also is the composer of ‘Romance in Hard Times’ and ‘Elegies, A Song Cycle.’ Lapine, a triple Tony winner, conceived and directed the Roundabout Theatre Company’s current production, ‘Sondheim on Sondheim.’ His other Broadway credits include directing and writing the book for the Sondheim musicals ‘Sunday in the Park With George,’ ‘Into the Woods’ and ‘Passion’ and directing plays including ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘Golden Child.’ He also has directed several movies and off-Broadway plays.

Besides ‘Falsettos,’ Finn and Lapine’s collaborations include the Tony-winning ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ (which has a book by Rachel Sheinkin) and ‘A New Brain.’

Both men have previous ties to La Jolla. Finn wrote the lyrics for the world-premiere musical ‘Dangerous Games -- Two Tango Pieces’, a 1989 co-production of the playhouse, American Music Theater Festival and Spoleto Festival U.S.A.

For La Jolla, Lapine directed a 1985 production of Sondheim’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ and directed the 1993 world premiere of his play ‘Luck, Pluck, and Virtue.’

-- Karen Wada


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