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Jerry Zaks to direct new Randy Newman musical at Mark Taper Forum

November 30, 2009 |  2:00 pm

Zaks Four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks is coming to Los Angeles where he will collaborate with Oscar-winning composer Randy Newman on a new musical production.

Zaks, who has worked in stage and film productions throughout his lengthy career, is confirmed as the director of "Harps and Angels," which is scheduled to open Nov. 21, 2010 at the Mark Taper Forum. The musical will draw from Newman's vast songbook.

Center Theatre Group (which runs the Taper) also said that musical staging for the production will be directed by Warren Carlyle, whose most recent work includes the critically acclaimed revival of "Finian's Rainbow" that is currently on Broadway.

The plot of "Harps and Angels" is being kept under wraps. The company said that the story involves "a compelling, honest and humorous commentary on what it is like to be born, grow up, fall in love, and live and die in America."

Zaks has won Tony Awards for directing "Guys and Dolls," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Lend Me a Tenor" and "The House of Blue Leaves." His most prominent film credit as director is "Marvin's Room."

According to a spokeswoman for CTG, Zaks has directed or supervised five productions that have appeared at the company's theaters in the past. They include "Little Shop of Horrors" (2004), "Swing!" (2000), "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (1995), "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (1994) and "Six Degrees of Separation" (1992).

Among the Newman songs that have been confirmed for the production of "Harps and Angels" are “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” “Sail Away,” “Marie,” “Rednecks,” “My Country,” “Louisiana 1927,” “Feels Like Home,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “I Love L.A.”

-- David Ng

Photo: director Jerry Zaks. Credit: Center Theatre Group

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