World pre­miere re­boot of ‘Zanna, Don’t!’ lands at Out Front

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

It ran for well over a decade, start­ing with its off-Broad­way de­vel­op­ment gig in 2002 and then land­ing pro­duc­tions all across the United States and through­out the world. Yet Tim Ac­ito’s mu­si­cal com­edy “Zanna, Don’t!” has been tweaked a bit by its play­wright and the world pre­miere re­boot lands at Out Front Theatre Com­pany July 27 – 29.

Ac­ito’s play is set in a uni­verse where be­ing gay is the norm and het­ero­sex­u­al­ity is looked down on and mis­un­der­stood. In the Mid­west-set Heartsville High, all the high school stu­dents iden­tify as LGBT, but trou­ble starts when the foot­ball team’s quar­ter­back falls for – shocker – a girl. A mag­i­cal fairy match­maker en­ters the pic­ture to make ev­ery­thing right again.

Di­rect­ing the show is Ja­cob Dem­low, the com­pany’s as­sis­tant artis­tic di­rec­tor and di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion. He feels the al­ter­ations to the show give more di­men­sion to the lead­ing char­ac­ters.

“It has more pop and a lot of changes have been made to the book to make the cen­tral char­ac­ters more real,” he said. “There is more of an arc and depth to them. In the orig­i­nal, there were a lot of char­ac­ters and arcs and you didn’t get as much depth. Here, the core group is honed in on. But it’s the same story peo­ple know and love, with a fresh take on it.”

The cel­e­brated mu­si­cal score is mostly the same as well, with some new num­bers. Ac­ito made the de­ci­sion to make th­ese changes in the last year or so.

“I think [when it started its run] pro­duc­ers wanted to make it very com­mer­cial and that is not the di­rec­tion he wanted to go,” Dem­low said. “Once it had left off-Broad­way, he worked on hon­ing it back down and do­ing what he wanted to do orig­i­nally, with more of a fo­cus.”

Get­ting the pro­duc­tion as a world pre­miere was a mat­ter of per­fect tim­ing for Out Front.

“We reached out for the rights to say we wanted to do it. But, we knew it was a lit­tle dated and did sug­gest a few ed­its,” Dem­low said. “The [li­cens­ing team] came back and said the play­wright was work­ing on a new ver­sion and was look­ing for a place to pre­miere it. We looked at it, it was great and we de­cided it

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