Maya Donato as Coraline (source SF Playhouse)
Children, teens and adults alike can relate to Coraline’s theme of fantasizing about an ‘Other Mother’ and running away to find idealized-versions of our families. Perhaps no more so than at the holidays, do we need to humorously indulge these fantasies and be guided back to an appreciation of our real family. SF Playhouse’s current production, a musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-wining graphic novella Coraline does just that.
This holiday weekend, SFPL invites you to Creating Coraline: The Making of a New Musical, a unique behind-the-scenes look at (and a chance to win tickets for) this currently running production.
A host of talented people are behind the musical adaptation of Coraline. Gaiman’s material provides a springboard for playwright David Greenspan’s production book. (Of Greenspan, Tony Kushner has said he "is probably all-round the most talented theater artist of my generation.") Its original score, rich with tinkling toy pianos, was composed by indie-music legend Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields, composer of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s 2010 screening of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and subject of Strange Powers, a recent documentary film). Bill English, artistic director and co-founder of SF Playhouse, brings it all together, guiding the hands of some of the Bay Area’s finest artists: Erika Chong Shuch (choreography), Robert Moreno (music director), Chris White (puppetry), Michael Oesch (lighting design) and Valera Coble (costumes).
Get a glimpse behind the curtains. Learn how the show came about and how the cast was selected. Hear about the challenges of learning (and playing!) Stephin Merritt's score and what it is like to work with puppets on stage. Learn how the stage designers were inspired by Tim Burton, and what it is like to create the "Other World" each night. This event is ideal for music lovers, Coraline fans, and theater-goers ages 11 to 111.