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Wonderland to open on Broadway 2011

WONDERLAND:

A New Alice.  A New Musical Adventure.

Book by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy

Lyrics by Jack Murphy

Music by Frank Wildhorn

Directed by Gregory Boyd

Choreographed by Marguerite Derricks

TO OPEN ON BROADWAY

APRIL 17, 2011

PREVIEWS BEGIN MARCH 21

AT A NEDERLANDER THEATRE TO BE ANNOUNCED

FOLLOWING PRE-BROADWAY ENGAGEMENT AT

THE DAVID A. STRAZ, JR. CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

JANUARY 4 THROUGH JANUARY 16, 2011

WONDERLAND:  A New Alice.  A New Musical Adventure will open on Broadway Sunday, April 17, 2011 and performances will begin Monday, March 21, at a Nederlander theatre to be announced.  The musical will be directed by Gregory Boyd, the artistic director of the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, with a book by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy (The Civil War –Tony nomination) and lyrics by Jack Murphy, music by Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde – Grammy nomination, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War – Tony nomination, Dracula, Victor/Victoria) and choreography by Marguerite Derricks (Fame, Emmy Awards for “3rd Rock From The Sun” and “Fame LA”).  WONDERLAND:  A New Alice.  A New Musical Adventure will play a pre-Broadway engagement at the Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO) in Tampa, Florida January 4 through January 16, 2011.

WONDERLAND is the first production of the Broadway Genesis Project, an initiative by the Straz Center for the Performing Arts to develop and prepare new musical theater for Broadway. From a show’s inception to final staging, the Project provides a safe and nourishing environment in a state-of-the-art complex with artistic, technical and administrative resources.

After Frank Wildhorn conceived WONDERLAND, it was optioned by the Judy Lisi, CEO of the Straz Center, and was subsequently produced as its world premiere at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL this past December.  In association with the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX,  in January of 2010, the show was transferred for further development, becoming one of the highest grossing shows in that theater’s history.

In this new musical featuring a new score, WONDERLAND is a story about a new Alice who has lost her joy in life. Estranged from her husband, alienated from her daughter and in danger of losing her career, Alice finds herself in Wonderland where she encounters strange though familiar characters that help her rediscover the wonder in her life while searching for her daughter.

WONDERLAND will be produced on Broadway by the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO), William Franzblau and Nederlander Presentations, Inc.

“I am at a point in my life where I want to stay in love with the things I fell in love with.  The process of creating WONDERLAND with my extraordinary producers and collaborators has shown me the magic of fun is not just for the young.  Being part of the Straz Center’s invaluable Broadway Genesis Project was an exciting and rewarding experience,” said composer Frank Wildhorn.

Producers Judy Lisi, President and CEO of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center and William Franzblau said “Alice’s story is one that has always resonated with us – whether reading it when we were children or now as adults.  With WONDERLAND, our creative team has developed a Broadway musical that tells the story of a contemporary woman attempting to maintain her career as well as keeping her family together and not doing well with either.  At her breaking point she escapes into the world of Wonderland where she finds out who she really is and what’s important in life.”

The cast, design team and Broadway ticket information will be announced soon.

Tampa Ticket Information:

Tickets for WONDERLAND:  A New Alice.  A New Musical Adventure may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org

For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit www.strazcenter.org

The WONDERLAND Concept CD is available through ITUNES from SONY Masterworks.

For more information, log on to www.WonderlandOnBroadway.com

BIOGRAPHIES:

GREGORY BOYD (Director and Co-Bookwriter) is the Artistic Director of the Alley Theatre, where he directed Wonderland (premiere), The Gershwins’ An American in Paris (premiere), Jekyll & Hyde (premiere, and first national tour), Treasure Island (premiere), Cyrano de Bergerac, Hitchcock Blonde, Hapgood, The Pillowman, The Invention of Love, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Three Sisters, In the Jungle of Cities, After the Fall, The Greeks, among others.  Recent productions outside the Alley include Travesties (Sam Waterston, Tom Hewitt) at Long Wharf, Our Town (Hal Holbrook) at Hartford Stage, Design for Living (Marisa Tomei, Campbell Scott, Steven Weber) at Williamstown.  He is co-author of The Civil War (Tony Nomination, Best Musical). During his tenure, the Alley has risen in national and international prominence, winning the Special Tony Award and experiencing record growth in its Houston audiences, while also transferring its productions to major European Festivals, to Broadway, and on tour to 40 American cities.  His other notable Alley productions include Not About Nightingales by Tennessee Williams (Alley, London, Broadway, director Trevor Nunn), and The Civil War (which he also co-authored), Shakespeare’s Roman Plays (with Vanessa Redgrave and the late Corin Redgrave); Robert Wilson’s productions of Hamlet and Danton’s Death (with Richard Thomas); Ellen Burstyn in O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, David Cromer’s productions of The Farnsworth Invention and The Clean House, and premieres by Rajiv Joseph, Eve Ensler and Alley Artistic Associates Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Ken Ludwig and Frank Wildhorn.  He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is a Distinguished Alumnus, and at Carnegie-Mellon.

JACK MURPHY (Lyricist and Co-Bookwriter) has worked on a wide variety of projects as both lyricist and composer from songs for Linda Eder to TV music for the Animal Planet and Sesame Street.  In collaboration with Frank Wildhorn and Gregory Boyd, he wrote the lyrics for The Civil War, which garnered him a Tony Nomination for Best Score when it debuted on Broadway in 1999. He was back on Broadway again at the St. James Theater with two songs penned for the hit show, Swing.  Jack also wrote and directed a play for the Progress Energy Theater in Raleigh, North Carolina titled Gods of Autumn, which had its World Premiere on August 20, 2008.  Frank and Jack recently had several European World Premieres: the musical, Rudolf, in Budapest, Hungary in May of 2006, another production of the same show at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo on May 6, 2008, and the show’s third opening night in Vienna on February 26, 2009.  In October, 2008 a modern take on Carmen, with book by Norman Allen, opened in Prague, and on March 14, 2009 The Count of Monte Cristo had its World Premiere at the Theatre St. Gallen in Switzerland and another Production in Seoul, Korea in April of 2010.

FRANK WILDHORN (Composer).  Multi-Grammy and Tony Award nominated composer/producer Frank Wildhorn’s works span the worlds of popular, theatrical, and classical music.  In 1999, Frank became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway:  Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War. Also for Broadway: Dracula and Victor/Victoria.  Frank produced Harlem Song the famed Apollo Theatre.  International:  Cyrano, The Count of Monte Cristo, Carmen, Rudolf, Mitsuko, Never Say Goodbye, Camille Claudel, and Tears of Heaven.  Television: produced Broadway’s Best and Linda Eder’s Christmas concert special, both for Bravo TV.  Frank created and ran Atlantic Theatre, a division of Atlantic Records.  He currently has his own label deal (Soul Bear Records) with Sony Masterworks. International recording partnership, MWB (Music Without Borders), with MG-Sound/Vienna.  Frank served as music director for the Goodwill Games in New York City (1998).  He wrote the song “Gold,” the opening number for the 2002 Winter Olympics, sung by Linda Eder. Received the prestigious Charles Dickens Award from USC, where there is a scholarship under his name.  Over 65 million records sold: Whitney Houston’s international #1 hit “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?,” Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers, Sammy Davis, Jr., Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Hootie & the Blowfish, The Moody Blues, Johnny Mathis, Linda Eder, Freddie Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Stacy Lattisaw, Molly Hatchet, Blues Traveler, Trace Adkins, Patti LaBelle, Jeffrey Osborne, BeBe Winans, Stanley Turrentine, Amy Grant, Anthony Warlow, to name a few.  Associate artist at the Alley Theatre in Houston. Upcoming projects: Bonnie & Clyde, Havana, Casanova, Excalibur, Mata Hari, Ali, Zelda, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Father to Justin Samuel and Jake Ryan.

MARGUERITE DERRICKS’ (Choreographer) choreography has enhanced hundreds of films, television programs, commercials, music videos, and stage productions. She recently choreographed the feature film, Fame. Derricks received the prestigious Emmy Award for three consecutive years.  Her first was for the long running television series, “3rd Rock From the Sun.”  She won her second Emmy Award for “Fame LA” and a third for “The 1998 Goodwill Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.”  Her films include Little Miss Sunshine, Spiderman 3, Donnie Darko, Charlie’s Angels, the Austin Powers trilogy and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, earning her MTV Movie Awards and American Choreography Awards nominations.  Her television credits include “The 58th Emmy Awards,” numerous “MTV Awards” and “Fashion Rocks” telecasts, “That 70’s Show” (American Choreography Award nominee) and “CSI Miami.”  Also in demand for commercials, Derricks has created memorable ad campaigns include “Old Navy,” “GAP,” “Pepsi” and “Jack in the Box.” Derricks’ choreography can be seen in Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity, now in its 8th sold-out year at the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas.  Most recently, Derricks won the Astaire Award for Choreography of a Fictional Film (Fame). She also recently completed choreography on a new Ivan Reitman film, currently untitled but once called Friends With Benefits, starring Natalie Portman, Kevin Kline and Ashton Kutcher.

JUDY LISI (Producer, the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Producer) is the president of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, which she joined on Oct. 1, 1992.  She previously served as executive director of the prestigious Shubert Performing Arts Center in New Haven, CT.  Prior to her work at the Shubert, Lisi served from 1979-1984 as artistic director of the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport, CT.  As the executive producer of all Straz Center productions, she has produced many highly successful shows, including Florida’s longest-running musical, Forever Plaid, which went on to tour the state. She served as executive producer on Wonderland: A New Alice.  A New Musical Adventure, which had its world premiere at the Straz Center in Dec. 2009.  Other successes include the grand opera that Lisi brought to the Straz Center, from the first production, Madama Butterfly, in 1996 to the world premiere of Anton Coppola’s highly dramatic Sacco & Vanzetti in 2001 to the most recent productions of Lucia di Lammermoor and La Rondine.  With a background in theater that includes performing as both a singer and an actress, Lisi has also directed more than 40 productions and written several shows including Waistwatchers: The Calorie Free Musical.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Sacred Heart University and a master’s degree in theater and communication arts from St. Louis University.  Lisi has done doctoral course work in theater at the University of Minnesota and has studied opera at the Juilliard School of Music and with the Metropolitan Opera.  In January 2008, Lisi received the Patrick Hayes Award for lifetime achievement from the International Society for the Performing Arts.

WILLIAM FRANZBLAU (Producer/Executive Producer) was the Executive Producer/Producer of the 2003 Tony-nominated Best Play, Say Goodnight, Gracie and served as a co-Producer on Broadway’s American Buffalo starring John Leguizamo and Cedric the Entertainer.  He served as Executive Producer of the Moscow Circus at the Gershwin Theatre, and co-produced the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Radio City Music Hall.  Mr. Franzblau founded Interfilm Inc., a publicly traded company combining interactive technologies with cinematic art, in which he produced three films.  He produced Disney’s Virtual Reality Theme Park Attraction, Ride the Comix in Orlando and Chicago.  Off Broadway he produced Jewtopia and Evil Dead, the Musical.  He recently co-produced the North American tour of Little House on the Prairie, the Musical.

ALLEY THEATRE is one of the flagship American not for-profit professional theatres. Recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Alley produces a wide ranging repertoire year-round on its two stages, with a Resident Company of artists, artisans and staff in its state of the art complex in downtown Houston. Under the direction of Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden, the Alley has also brought its productions to 40 American cities, and to Berlin, Paris, St. Petersburg and New York’s Lincoln Center, as well as to major European festivals (including two in one season at the Venice Biennale) and Broadway. Wonderland is the third Alley production on Broadway, following The Civil War (Tony Award nomination, Best Musical) and the newly discovered Tennessee Williams drama Not About Nightingales (Tony Award nomination, Best Play). Now in its 64th season, the Alley creates innovative productions of classics, neglected modern plays, and premieres. Notable productions include Jekyll & Hyde (premiere), Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby, Marriage Play ( US premieres); Robert Wilson’s productions of Danton’s Death, When We Dead Awaken, and Hamlet; the epic ten-play The Greeks and Shakespeare’s The Roman Plays (with Vanessa Redgrave and the late Corin Redgrave), and premieres by Ken Ludwig (Treasure Island, The Gershwins’ An American in Paris) and Horton Foote, Eve Ensler, Keith Reddin, Herbert Siguenza, and  new work developed through the Alley’s New Play Initiative include Kenneth Lin’s Intelligence-Slave and two premieres by Alley Company artist Rajiv Joseph, Gruesome Playground Injuries, and The Medusa Body, which opens May 2011. For more information visit www.alleytheatre.org

WWW.WonderlandOnBroadway.com

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