Early Morning Roundup: Betty Boop Wiggles on to Broadway and Other Theatre News


She just wants to be loved by you: Fifteen-time Grammy winner DAVID FOSTER will score a new musical about Betty Boop in which she joins forces with a group of friends “to work her irresistible charm in reuniting her grandfather (who has created the Greatest Invention of Mankind) with the long-lost, true love of his life, while saving the Happy Heart Theater from the developer’s bulldozers.” Look for it to bow in 2010/11. [Broadway]

Lords of the Ring: L.A. is launching one of its biggest arts festivals to date — a 10-week ordeal in 2010 to coincide with the LOS ANGELES OPERA’s staging of RICHARD WAGNER’s epic RING CYCLE. More than 50 California arts institutions will participate, announced PLACIDO DOMINGO, director of the L.A. Opera. This undertaking is already being compared to the OLYMPIC ARTS FESTIVAL, an extension of the 1984 L.A. Olympics. [Artinfo]

Harriell takes it to new Heights: MARCY HARRIELL (who previously played Maria in WEST SIDE STORY) will join the cast of IN THE HEIGHTS, replacing KAREN OLIVO in the role of Vanessa. Olivo left the production to play Anita in WEST SIDE STORY, which opens early next year. Harriell takes over her role November 18th. [Playbill]

Good on ya, Bolshoi: THE AUSTRALASIAN BOLSHOI BALLET ACADEMY will open next year in Melbourne, to become the first academy outside of Moscow to train dancers in the rigorous Russian Bolshoi style. Director SUSAN THOMSON says the idea first arose 15 years ago, when the BOLSHOI BALLET toured Australia. Boasting alumni like MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV and MAYA PLISETSKAYA, the new school aims to produce world-class dancers and attract talent to Australia. [ABC]

Record grant broadens company’s Horizons: PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS has received its biggest program grant ever: $2 million from the ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION. The money will be used for non-profit projects that pair new works of musical theatre with a regional theatre. With this grant, the company hopes to create four new works and produce three to four full-scale productions over seven years. [Broadway World]

– Iza Wojciechowska