Probably my favorite film of 2009 so far is the 3D animated Coraline (my review) based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman. It had long been the wish of Gaiman that his fantastical film be made into a musical and earlier this year it was reported that his wish was coming true. Indie rocker Stephen Merritt and writer/performer David Greenspan collaborated on the music/lyrics and book respectively to put the whimsical tale of a restless little girl’s hunger for adventure on stage.
The show opened recently off Broadway at the MCC Theater in New York and as Variety reports, it’s even more unusual than the film. The title character Coraline, for instance is played by 55 year old Jayne Houdyshell. If you don’t mind the unusual casting decisions, the 7 players that make up the rest of the cast look fantastic. You can view the cast list on the MCC Theatre website.
Composer Stephen Merritt wrote the songs intended for several different kinds of pianos – upright, baby grand, toy, etc. The music sounds appropriate for the film with an appropriate mix of humor and fantasy. You can listen to a clip from the concept album below:
Coraline is now playing Tuesday through Sunday at the MCC Theatre in NYC. For ticket information go to the MCC website.