The Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace has scheduled another new musical with Broadway ambitions — "Hazel," a show based on the character from the Saturday Evening Post comic strip and the popular TV series starring Shirley Booth, who won two Emmys for playing the feisty live-in maid Hazel Burke.
"Hazel," which will premiere on April 6, 2016 and retain its 1960s setting, features a book by Lissa Levin, music by Ron Abel and lyrics by Chuck Steffan. It is to be directed and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, whose work was seen extensively on the NBC show "Smash." Klea Blackhurst is to star in the title role.
The comic-strip character was first created by Ted Key in 1943. Key adapted his own single-panel cartoon for the TV show, which ran from 1961 to 1965 on NBC, and from 1965 to 1966 on CBS.
Drury Lane also has announced its 2016 subscription season, which operates on an unusual calendar. Following "Hazel" (March 31 through May 29, 2016), the theater will stage Ira Levin's "Deathtrap" (June 9 to Aug. 14), Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (Sept. 1 to Oct. 23), the George Gershwin musical "Crazy for You" (Nov. 3, 2016 to Jan. 8, 2017) and a newly retooled version of the musical version of "Saturday Night Fever," slated to run from Jan. 19 to March 19, 2017.