‘From Books to Broadway’: A new outdoor production

Milford. See the show, then read the book: The American Readers Theater and the Pike County Public Library team up to offer the community a richly layered cultural experience.

02 Oct 2020 | 06:07

The American Readers Theater (ART) is all about promoting literature through the performing arts. In keeping true to its mission, ART will be presenting “From Books to Broadway” in partnership with the Pike County Public Library.

“We’re excited to be able to host this event with ART, especially during a time when it’s difficult to have in-person programs,” said library executive director Rose Chiocchi. “It’s exciting to see the creative ways that we are able to all work together and bring events back to our community.”

ART Director Jeffrey Stocker agreed. “We are looking forward to joining the Milford Library in presenting this afternoon of great songs based on classic novels,” he said. “Come watch the show, and afterwards read the book.”

That’s already happening – Stocker said that one of the younger performers is now reading Little Women after discovering the musical of the same name and the song she’ll be singing from it, “Astonishing” was based on the book by Louisa May Alcott.

You might be surprised how many Broadway shows were based on novels. One obvious one — Oliver! — was based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. Not as many people know the 2007 musical Legally Blonde was based on a novel of the same name by Amanda Brown or that Damn Yankees was based on the 1954 novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop. Tuck Everlasting is a book by Natalie Babbitt, and the musical Camelot is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from T. H. White’s 1958 novel The Once and Future King, which itself is a work by T. H. White based upon the 1485 book Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory.

Musical Director Sandy Stalter has been rehearsing weekly online with the cast of 14. “All the songs are from Broadway shows that were based on books: novels and memoirs,” She said. Stalter noted the audience will hear well-known songs including “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera, “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot, and “Pure Imagination” from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and more.

The public is invited to enjoy the performances outside on the library’s front lawn at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 (rain date Oct. 11). There is a suggested donation of $20, but donors are welcome to give as much or as little as they can afford. The American Readers Theatre is a not-for-profit performing arts organization.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and wear a mask as social distancing will be in place, and enjoy the music.

Essential information:
What: “From Books to Broadway,” A live outdoor performance
Where: Pike County Public Library, 119 East Harford Street, Milford
When: 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 (rain date Sunday, Oct. 11)
Suggested donation: $20 or whatever you can afford
A production of American Readers Theatre, a nonprofit organization