Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) captures lightning in a bottle with the world-premiere musical adaptation of “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” based on the classic best-selling novel by Ray Bradbury. Directed and choreographed by Chicago-based director Rachel Rockwell, this extraordinarily magical and uniquely visual world sings and seduces Sept. 13–Oct. 8.
The spine-tingling tale of a traveling carnival that mysteriously arrives in a small town is woven on stage with music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill. “We were first intrigued by the thriller aspects of Ray Bradbury’s novel,” says Hill, “but what really attracted us was the deep heart at the center of the wild rollercoaster of a story. The mending of a damaged father-and-son relationship is the emotional glue that holds the whole thing together.”
Set in rural Illinois in 1938, Bradbury’s musical and hypnotic prose transports the audience, serving as inspiration for the original score of this musical adaptation. “Developing a sound for the score of ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ has been a fascinating challenge,” says Bartram. “Ray Bradbury’s text is a goldmine of imagery and poetry, so for the lyrics of the songs, it’s been a blast to weave his voice into the musical. His writing has a very specific tone that we’ve tried to maintain as we transition this iconic novel to the stage.”
DTC’s executive director Bud Martin is excited to open the company’s 39th season with such an electrifying new venture. “Neil and Brian are two of my favorite people and writers,” Martin says, “and this is probably the most artistically challenging show in the history of DTC. We are treating audiences to this world premiere, and they will have the first chance to see all of the surprises the show has in store.”
Performances are held at Delaware Theatre Company’s intimate, 389-seat theatre, at 200 Water St., Wilmington, near the beautiful Riverfront. Single tickets are on sale now, starting at $20. Purchase online at DelawareTheatre.org, or by calling the box office at 594-1100.