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(Minneapolis/St. Paul) The world premiere production of Little House on the Prairie broke box office records at the Guthrie Theater this past Friday by selling more tickets on a single day than any other show in the venue’s history. Day-of-sale box office receipts reported that 5,461 tickets for the world premiere musical were sold on Friday. The previous one day box office record for a Guthrie production was set in 2006 when 1,363 tickets were sold for the annual holiday show, A Christmas Carol. The box office record for a presentation at the Guthrie was set in 2007, when 3,639 tickets were sold in one day for the Guthrie WorldStage presentation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear, starring Ian McKellen.

The Prairie fire in the box office remained strong over the weekend, resulting in a three day total of 8,408 tickets sold. Friday’s ticket sales were conducted by phone and in person only, and reports indicate that tickets were sold to residents of more than 25 American states and several Canadian provinces. Of the more than 5,000 people who purchased tickets on Friday, a stunning 58% have never before attended a show at the Guthrie.

“The numbers from Friday’s sales clearly indicate the wide appeal of this material,” Guthrie Artistic Director Joe Dowling said, “We knew that the Little House stories resonate in this region in a profound way, and now we know that Little House on the Prairie as a musical – a truly American art form -speaks to people across the nation in a powerful way.”

The new musical based on the classic tales penned by Laura Ingalls Wilder will be directed by Francesca Zambello, and feature a book by Tony Award-winning writer Rachel Sheinkin, lyrics by Donna di Novelli and music by Academy Award-winning film composer Rachel Portman.

Broadway veteran Steve Blanchard (eight years as the “Beast” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) leads the Ingalls family through the joys and hardship of pioneer life as Charles “Pa” Ingalls. Melissa Gilbert, best known for her work in the 1970s television series, returns to her Little House roots to play Caroline “Ma” Ingalls, with her signature character Laura coming to life on the musical stage through the talents of Kara Lindsay, a 2007 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. Jenn Gambatese (Broadway’s All Shook Up and Disney’s Tarzan) plays the role of eldest daughter Mary, a character who struggles with scarlet fever and its resulting blindness. Rounding out the Ingalls family as Carrie, 14-year-old Twin Cities native Maeve Moynihan (A Christmas Carol, 2003-2005) returns to the Guthrie stage following numerous roles at the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company. The cast also features Sara Jean Ford (Christine in the Broadway National Tour of Phantom of the Opera) as the prissy, spoiled and manipulative Nellie Oleson, and Kevin Massey (Broadway’s Tarzan and Big River), who brings romance to the prairie as Almanzo Wilder.


Previews begin July 26, with opening night set for August 15 and performances continuing through October 5. Season ticket packages, which include Little House on the Prairie, are still available. Single tickets are priced from $29 to $65, with opening night prices ranging from $54 to $75. Little House on the Prairie is being produced at the Guthrie by special arrangement with Global Prairie Productions, Inc.

About the Guthrie

The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie opened their new three-theater home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis in June 2006. The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue), in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets or season subscriptions call the Guthrie Box Office between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily at 612.377.2224 or toll-free 877.44.STAGE. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.guthrietheater.org.

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