Jessica Burrows and Chris Hoch inlast year's workshop productionof Zhivago at La Jolla
(Photo © Scott Humbert)
Jessica Burrows and Chris Hoch in
last year's workshop production
of Zhivago at La Jolla
(Photo © Scott Humbert)
A new production of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Wiz and the world premiere of the musical Zhivago, based on the Boris Pasternak novel, will be presented as part of the La Jolla Playhouse's 2006-2007 season. Both shows will be directed by Des McAnuff, the theater's artistic director, whose credits include The Who's Tommy and the current Broadway hit Jersey Boys.

The season will begin with Zhivago, which has a book by Michael Weller (Moonchildren), music by Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden) and lyrics by Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and Amy Powers (Sunset Boulevard). The show was workshopped at La Jolla this past summer.

Up next will be the Bertolt Brecht classic Mother Courage, directed by Lisa Peterson. It will be followed by the popular vaudeville show all wear bowlers and the world premiere of Culture Clash's Zorro in Hell, the latter directed by Tony Taccone in a co-production with Berkeley Rep.

For the revival of The Wiz, the 1975 African-American re-telling of The Wizard of Oz, McAnuff will team up with the show's original orchestrator Harold Wheeler. "Our production will reflect the shifts that have occurred in the dominant pop culture, in both music and theater, since The Wiz's history-making Broadway debut," McAnuff stated. "This is a modern Oz, with a modern look and modern sounds."

The playhouse's "Page to Stage" workshop production for 2007, also to be directed by McAnuff, will be The Farnsworth Invention by Aaron Sorkin, author of A Few Good Men and creator of TV's The West Wing. The play tells the parallel stories of two men who race to invent television. It will be presented in collaboration with Ireland's Abbey Theatre; no specific dates have been set.