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Randy Newman musical to debut at Mark Taper Forum in 2010

October 12, 2009 |  5:06 pm


Songwriter Randy Newman -- who has penned music for countless films, including "Toy Story" and "Monsters, Inc." -- will have a new musical premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in November 2010.

"Harps and Angels" will feature songs previously written by Newman arranged in a way to tell a story about the American experience, according to Center Theatre Group.  The songs are linked together "to tell a story of living in America, being born in America and going through various stages of life in America," said a spokeswoman for the company.

She said that Newman has not composed new songs for this production and that he will not appear on stage.

The musical was conceived by Jack Viertel, the creative director of Jujamcyn Theaters in New York. It will run at the Mark Taper from Nov. 21 to Dec. 19, 2010. There is no word yet if he intends to bring the production to Broadway after its L.A. run.

Some of the Newman songs set to be featured in the musical 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.”

Newman has received 17 Academy Award nominations and won an Oscar for the "Monsters, Inc." song "If I Didn't Have You." He is also the recipient of multiple Grammy and Emmy awards.

This is not Newman's first venture into musical theater. In 2000, "The Education of Randy Newman" opened at South Coast Repertory. The musical used selections from Newman's songbook to tell the story of one composer's coming of age. In 1995, "Randy Newman's Faust" opened at the La Jolla Playhouse.

"Harps and Angels" will be the final production of the Mark Taper's 2010 season, which is set to begin in February with David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow."

-- David Ng

Photo: Randy Newman. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times