The Great White Way is taking a detour through the Wharton Center for Performing Arts this month.
Michigan State University students and area high school students are collaborating with Broadway talent to bring a new musical to the Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre. “Dr. Fox and the Impossible Cure for Death” will be performed at the theater Sept. 21-22 as part of the annual ĭmáGen program.
Now in its sixth year, ĭmáGen is a collaboration between the Wharton Center Institute for Arts & Creativity and the MSU College of Arts and Letters. The unique program calls for new musical theater works, selects one show for that year’s program and then produces a staged performance in three weeks. The MSU Department of Theatre received its highest number of new work submissions this year before selecting “Dr. Fox and the Impossible Cure for Death.” Tickets for the performances are now on sale.
“This program is helping us gain national attention,” said Kirk Domer, chairman of the MSU Department of Theatre. “It’s one of a kind in Michigan, and we are so proud of how much it continues to grow. Through this nurturing of a new piece of musical theater, professional writers and directors are provided the resources and young talent to help develop their show. It’s an educational experience for high school students and college students, an opportunity to work with professionals in show business while still in school.”
The creative team behind the performances includes direction by Timothy Koch, who is currently the resident director of Disney’s “Frozen”performing at Broadway’s St. James Theatre. The book and music are by Benedict Braxton-Smith, who is a highly sought-after, Brisbane-based musical director, pianist, composer and orchestrator. Book and lyrics are by Megan Petersen, an actor and writer who appeared in the Netflix series “House of Cards.”
“Dr. Fox and the Impossible Cure for Death” followsa precocious 13-year-old girl and her overly imaginative father as they search a storybook world for a cure to a brain tumor. This very curious musical twist on the “water of life” myth was originally conceived at New York University. TheĭmáGen selection committee was drawn to the show’s malleability due to how new the piece is.
“Not only have past shows gone on to be produced around the country, but students have continued to work with their Broadway mentors even after graduation,” said Bert Goldstein, director off the Wharton Center Institute for Arts & Creativity. “It’s an amazing program and we are all so proud.”
“Dr. Fox and the Impossible Cure for Death”will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 and at 2 p.m. Sept.22. Tickets start at $18.50 and student discounts are available. Tickets can be purchased online at whartoncenter.com, at the Auto-Owners Insurance ticket office at the Wharton Center or by calling (800) WHARTON.