Updated 05/27/2009 10:35 AM
Stage Musical "Coraline" In Previews Off-Broadway
The stage musical "Coraline" is currently in previews Off-Broadway compliments of MCC Theatre. NY1's Donna Karger filed the following preview.
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Meet Coraline. She's an adventurous 9-year-old girl looking to spice up her humdrum existence and she's being brought to life on stage by a celebrated actress who's, well, not nine years old.
"It's been very challenging and exciting to represent a 9-year-old," said Actor Jayne Houdyshell. "I haven't used any resource or source material outside of myself to create the character. But I've been drawing on who I was when I was nine certainly. And it's been really interesting to pull back on those memories and relive how it was to live inside a mind and heart of a 9-year-old."
Houdyshell plays Coraline, the title character in this dark new musical that's based on Neil Gaiman's children's book which was also recently made into an animated film. At the helm of this production is Leigh Silverman. She directed "Houdyshell" a few years back in her Tony nominated performance in a play called "Well."
"Well you know, what we wanted was to create an environment where the audience was really being asked to use their creativity and their imagination while watching the show," said Silverman. "And we thought no one could lead the show with the spirit and the humanity and the grace and the excellence than the amazing Jayne Houdyshell, so of course she should play a 9-year- old, why not?"
In addition to the nontraditional casting age-wise, the musical also boasts some rather nontraditional music.
"Everything you hear is either done with voice or with piano -- all the sound effects and there are dozens of them, you can hit a piano with or scrape a piano with, strange things you can put between the keys of a piano and we have dozens of toy pianos," said "Coraline" Composer Stephin Merritt. "Many get played and different treatments of player pianos poor little pianos where nothing has been done to them, we play them with drum sticks, hands, mallets, and have a grand ol' time."
"It's part of the unexpected nature of the show that you don't know how the music is gonna be used and how it's gonna be woven into the story," said Silverman.
If you want to check out "Coraline" for yourself, it's currently in previews at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village.
Opening night is set to for June 1st.