'Triumph of Love' to open Broadway's 1997-1998 season

February 14, 1997|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC

Love has triumphed on Valentine's Day. With appropriate timing, producer Margo Lion has announced that "Triumph of Love," which made its world premiere at Center Stage in November, will open on Broadway as the first musical of the 1997-1998 season.

Co-produced by Lion, Jujamcyn Theaters and the Pace Theatrical Group with a budget of $3 million, the musical adaptation of Marivaux's 18th-century French comedy will open at the Walter Kerr Theatre in September. Negotiations are under way for Susan Egan to continue in the starring role.

Lion, a Baltimore native whose producing credits include "Angels in America" and "Jelly's Last Jam," had hoped to bring the musical to Broadway this season, but said the glut of new shows and consequent shortage of theaters made that impossible.

However, she said the show's creative team -- librettist James Magruder, lyricist Susan Birkenhead, composer Jeffrey Stock and director Michael Mayer -- will use the summer to continue refinements begun at Center Stage and at "Triumph's" subsequent engagement at the Yale Repertory Theatre.

"It's all for the best," Lion said. "These things have their own rhythm. I love the idea of being the first show of the season."

At Center Stage, artistic director Irene Lewis acknowledged the show's opportunity to increase the theater's national profile, but said mostly she was pleased that her subscribers enjoyed the process of watching Magruder's non-musical translation, which was produced there in 1993, transformed into a musical. "They got to see it first, and I'm glad," Lewis said. "It worked out well."

Magruder, who is Center Stage's resident dramaturg, added, "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be writing a book for a Broadway musical, so this is just amazing."

Pub Date: 2/14/97

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