Cult film musical set for La Jolla premiere

Times Staff Writer

The La Jolla Playhouse will stage the world premiere of the theatrical version of John Waters' 1990 cult film musical, "Cry-Baby," as part of its 2007-08 season, announced Wednesday.

The musical, which producers hope will move to Broadway, features a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan and lyrics and music by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger. It had originally been slated for a February opening at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.

The Romeo-and-Juliet romance between a juvenile delinquent and a good girl in 1954 Baltimore will be staged Oct. 30 to Dec. 16 by Mark Brokaw at the playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre.

The season opens with the previously announced world premiere musical adaptation of Prosper Merimee's 1845 novella, "Carmen" (June 5 to July 22 at the Mandell Weiss Theatre), by Sarah Miles, with music by John Ewbank, lyrics by AnnMarie Milazzo and direction by Franco Dragone (Cirque du Soleil).

Tony Award-winning Theatre de la Jeune Lune returns to the playhouse with "The Deception" (July 17 to Aug. 19, in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre), an adaptation of a Pierre Marivaux romp by Steven Epp and company co-founder Dominique Serrand, who directs.

Also this summer is "after the quake" (July 24 to Aug. 26), based on short stories by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, adapted and directed by Steppenwolf Theatre's Frank Galati.

Daniel Aukin, former artistic director of the Obie-winning SoHo Repertory Theater, will direct "The Adding Machine," Elmer Rice's Expressionistic classic (Sept. 11 to Oct. 7). Previously announced is "The Seven," a 21st century adaptation of Aeschylus' "Seven Against Thebes" (Feb. 12 to March 16, 2008), created by hip-hop artist Will Power with movement by choreographer Bill T. Jones. Obie-winner Jo Bonney directs.

Both plays will be staged in the Potiker Theatre, as will a workshop production of "Most Wanted" (Oct. 2 to 14) by "Dogeaters" team Mark Bennett (music and lyrics) and Jessica Hagedorn (book and lyrics), which launches the Edge, a forum for nonmainstream works. A playhouse commission, "Most Wanted" is the story of spree-killer Andrew Cunanan's murder of Gianni Versace. Michael Greif of "Rent" fame directs.

The previously announced Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik workshop of the musical "The Nightingale" has been delayed because of scheduling conflicts.

The season was announced by Des McAnuff, the playhouse's artistic director, who leaves in April to become co-director of Canada's Stratford Festival. His successor has not been named.

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