When the Dallas Theater Center announced its 2008-09 season earlier this spring, it left off the name of one show â€” the last one, which it described only asÂ â€œan enchanting new family musical based on a Newbery Award-winning novelâ€ that is â€œa heartwarming story which will delight the entire familyâ€ written by â€œa composer and lyricist who currently have a hit musical running on Broadway.â€Â We’ve waited for artistic director Kevin Moriarty to finalize the release. And waited. And waited. But so far, nothing. Well, wait no more â€” we’ve figured it out logically. Find out what it is â€” and how we worked through it â€” after the jump.Â
Â We didn’t have much to work on: Just the above statements in the press materials.Â The accompanying image shows a grassy field with a lone tree on it.
Well thatâ€™s actuallyÂ a lot of information.
There were, at the time of the announcement, 26 musicals running on Broadway. Of those, six were revivals of shows like â€œA Chorus Lineâ€ whose authors arenâ€™t what youâ€™d call â€œactive.â€ Three others were â€œjukebox musicals,â€ with songs by ABBA and the Four Seasons â€” teams unlikely to change gears with a childrenâ€™s book. One is an Andrew Lloyd Webber show one by Elton John, another by Eric Idle and Duncan Sheik â€” none of whom weâ€™d expect to find adapting a show for the DTC. Several are by people now dead, including three not elsewhere on the list. Two shows hadnâ€™t formally opened yet, so itâ€™s inconceivable their composers are working on another all-new show right now. Four more had their music and lyrics by solo authors, and the DTC press release implied a team.
Several were adapted from preexisting material, one of which is by composers in their late 80s. That leaves three established musicals with multiple composers and songwriters who might be expected to be working on new material.
Then thereâ€™s the question of the book on which it will be based. I have eliminated from contention â€” perhaps to my error â€” books with elaborate fantasy motifs, books that have previously been adapted to the stage, ones that rely in large part on eccentric or difficult-to-cast minority characters, those that would be hard to adopt (picture books, short stories, poetry collections) and those so old and obscure as to be unlikely to be favorites or which have become dated or politically incorrect.
Taking into account the bucolic setting and the family theme, I predict that the final show of the Dallas Theater Centerâ€™s season will beâ€¦Â (drum roll please)Â
An adaptation of â€œSarah, Plain and Tallâ€ by Laurence Oâ€™Keefe and Nell Benjamin, of â€œLegally Blonde.â€
Â So what about it Kevin? Did I get it right or didn’t I?Â