by Angela Tricarico
Tuck Everlasting is making its Broadway premiere tonight, April 26, at the Broadhurst Theater.
The new musical is based on Natalie Babbit’s beloved children’s novel from 1975. It follows “good girl” Winnie Foster (played by the adorable Sarah Charles Lewis) as she runs away from home because she wants to attend the fair. During her escape, she meets the Tuck Family — Mae (Carolee Carmello), Angus (Michael Park), Miles (Robert Lenzi) and Jesse (Andrew Keenan-Bolger). Not all is normal with the Tucks as Winnie soon learns; the family is immortal, and have been living for more than one hundred years.
Jesse and Winnie become fast friends and go on an adventure together, through the trees – the set features a giant, functional tree with mechanical limbs – and to the fair, where they declare that they will be partners in crime.
Every musical needs a villain and Tuck Everlasting‘s comes in the form of Broadway superstar and Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann as the Man In The Yellow Suit. He is on the hunt for immortality and becomes suspicious of the Tuck family.
Tuck Everlasting features a score by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, and a book by Tim Federle and Claudia Shear, with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw. The cast also features Fred Applegate as Constable Joe, Michael Wartella as Hugo, Valerie Wright as Betsy Foster, and Pippa Pearthree as Nana. The ensemble of the show shines in the dance numbers and in the finale during which the show portrays time progression as a beautiful, sweeping ballet sequence.
In a doodle created for opening night, Courtney Powitz shows a scene from the act one finale “Partner in Crime” during which Jesse and Winnie sneak away to enjoy the fair.