Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell will play the title role in the musical adaptation of author Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. She joins the previously announced David Greenspan in the world premiere event, which begins performances at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on May 7. The show will open on June 1 and play a limited engagement through June 20. Leigh Silverman helms the piece.
Coraline, adapted from Gaiman’s twisted children's book, features music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields and book by co-star Greenspan. The story of bored 9-year-old Coraline, left to rattle around her perpetually distracted, workaholic parents’ house all by her lonesome, turns wild when her dreams of a better reality come true as she opens a big, carved, wooden door at the far end of the drawing room and passes into a perfect replica of her own world. When she’s greeted there by a vastly loving Other Mother and a kindly Other Father, she’s thrilled. But as the rats start to creep from the floorboards, and the way home becomes increasingly unclear, Coraline begins to suspect that, perhaps, all is not as perfect as it seems.
Houdyshell is best known for her Tony Award-nominated turn in Well also directed by Silverman and as an alum of the Broadway cast of Wicked. Off-Broadway, she has appeared in The New Century, The Receptionist, The Pain and the Itch, Well, Much Ado About Nothing, Fighting Words and True Love. Numerous regional credits include The Pain and the Itch Steppenwolf Theatre and The Clean House Wilma Theatre. Film and TV credits include Garden State, Changing Lanes, Conviction, Law & Order and Third Watch.
“Coraline is a wildly unconventional musical and having the exquisite Jayne Houdyshell play the precocious nine year old, gleefully defines the surprising and extraordinary spirit of the piece,” said director Silverman in a statement.
The Focus Features animated film version of Coraline opens at theaters nationwide on February 9.
Additional casting and creative announcements for the first-ever musical produced by MCC will be made at a later date.