I’ve been working with award-winning composer and Wicked creator Stephen Schwartz to adapt his musical MY SON PINOCCHIO for the holiday season. At First Stage, our best productions are enjoyed equally by young people and their parents. This is especially true for our holiday shows. Stephen's take on Pinocchio celebrates the puppet's journey to become a real boy, but it also shares Geppetto's journey to become a real parent -- a perfect fit for us. The premise of Stephen's new version of Pinocchio, coupled with the fact that the show's first big musical number takes place in Geppetto's Toy Shop led me to think, 'why not set this show during the holiday season?' The show has tremendous heart and humor and it celebrates family, which translates beautifully into a holiday story for the stage.
Throughout this whole process, Stephen has been great to work with. I sent him a draft of our new version in late May as he headed off to Australia, and despite his amazingly busy schedule, he found time to look it over and get back to me with his thoughts and notes. Here’s part of what he had to say:
Dear Jeff: I went through the Holiday Version of MY SON PINOCCHIO while I was out of the country, and I am delighted to say I think it's terrific. I think you've done a very clever job of making it suitable as a Christmas show without overdoing it. Thanks again, and I am very much looking forward to seeing this Holiday Version on stage! Best regards, StephenI must say it has been an honor and a privilege to work with Stephen, and we eagerly anticipate this production and his visit to our theater this holiday season.