Lyle the Crocodile: A Tap-Dancing Musical Adventure for the Family
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The line between fantasy and reality becomes increasingly blurred in this smash musical about escape and the transportive power of love. Created by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the songwriting team that penned Chicago and Cabaret, and four-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, Kiss of the Spider Woman was the winner of seven Tony Awards in 1993, including Best Musical. It's the story of two cellmates in a Latin American prison -- Valentin, a Marxist revolutionary, and Molina, a gay window dresser. Molina survives his jailers' torture and humiliation by escaping to a fantasy world filled with the movies he loved as a child, conjuring a beautiful and beguiling screen enchantress named Aurora as his imaginary diva. As the relationship between Valentin and Molina becomes increasingly complicated, so too do Molina's over-the-top fantasies, which begin threatening to overtake his real life. Learn More
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- Check out the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3X6TPb5Bh4">preview video</a> on YouTube.
Written by Kevin Kling
Based on The House on East 88th St. by Bernard Waber
Directed by Linda Hartzell
The Lyle series of books has been charming children since the mute-but-charismatic crocodile was first introduced in The House on East 88th Street in 1962, the story from which the play is adapted.
Times are tough all over, even in New York City, and it’s time for Hector P. Valenti to hang up his tap shoes. But he’s found the perfect home for Lyle the Crocodile, just in time for the holidays. Meanwhile, as the Primm family moves into their new apartment, they’re surprised to find Lyle sleeping in the bathtub. Lyle soon wins them over with his juggling, dancing, winning ways. Though not everyone is a fan at first, Lyle manages to save the day and make new friends.
Hartzell is particularly excited about this production. “I love good physical comedy and killer dance numbers,” she says. “And this show is full of both. Lyle is one charming crocodile living in one of the most vibrant cities in the world — New York City. There is no better way to say ‘happy holidays!’ than by taking your family to see a tap-dancing crocodile in NYC.”
Lyle the Crocodile is an extensive re-write of one of Kling’s earliest plays, first produced in 1991. Kling has been reworking the script under the guidance of Hartzell, who paired Kling with composer Rich Gray to update the music as well. Gray previously composed the music for Time Again in Oz and Little Rock at SCT.
“Both Kevin and Rich share my passion for the books,” explains Hartzell. “It’s essential that everyone, and everything, remain loyal to Lyle’s original humor. From there, this dynamic, original musical explodes with a tap-dancing, magic-performing crocodile.”
Playwright Kling is best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and his storytelling stage shows like Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log. He grew up in Osseo, a Minneapolis suburb, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1979, with a BA in theater. His storytelling started when a friend asked him to perform his stories. The National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and others have recognized Kling’s artistry. This is his first collaboration with SCT since 2008’s Busytown.