Water for Elephants will make a Broadway debut at the Imperial Theatre in 2024, with performances starting February 24 ahead of a March 21 opening night. Based on the novel by Sara Gruen, the new musical features a book by Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher) and music and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co. (The Tale of Despereaux). Tony Award-nominated Kimberly Akimbo director Jessica Stone is at the helm.
The musical played a world premiere run at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre earlier this year, with Isabelle McCalla (current leading Shucked on Broadway), Ryan Vasquez, and Bryan Fenkhart starring—read the reviews here. Casting for the Broadway run, being handled by Tara Rubin Casting, has not yet been revealed.
The work follows a man who runs away from his life only to find himself with a traveling circus. This stage musical follows a 2011 film adaptation of the novel starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.
The high-flying production will include circus design by Shana Carroll, who's also co-choreographing with Jesse Robb. Also on the creative team are scenic designer Takeshi Kata, costume designer David Israel Reynoso, lighting designer Bradley King, sound designer Walter Trarbach, projection designer David Bengali, hair and makeup design by Campbell Young Associates, puppet designer Camille Labarre, music supervisor and arranger Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Benedict Braxton-Smith, and orchestrator Daryl Waters. Timothy R. Semon will be production stage manager. All but Trarbach are continuing with the production after working on the Atlanta world premiere.
"What excites me most about Water for Elephants is working with our enormous design and creative team, an incredible group of artists from different avenues of storytelling. From Broadway veterans to puppeteers to circus artists, we have an eclectic collection of internationally acclaimed and innovative creators," says Stone in a statement. "What’s amazing about the culture of the circus is that you’re dependent upon one another to do a trick safely, so as a team we really all must lean on one another. If we do our jobs well and connect with our audience we will, quite literally, get the story off the page and into the air."
Tickets go on sale beginning September 13. Priority access is available at WaterForElephantsTheMusical.com.