Printed Music
logo The History of A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE
-from page to stage

Peter S. Beagle wrote this novel, his first, when he was only 19 and living within view of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx which supplied the inspiration for the setting. The novel, unfortunately, has gone out of print in recent years but has mostly been available since 1960 when it was first published.

After acquiring the rights, Erik originally started working with composer Michael Simon who eventually quit the project. Haagensen and Isen met at New York University's Musical Theater MFA Program in 1984 and Richard was very intrigued with the story and asked Erik if he could collaborate on the musical.

Cris Groenendaal had performed the part of Michael at the very first presentation of several scenes with music by Michael Simon. Mr. Groenendaal mentioned the project to Paulette Haupt, the founder and artistic director of the prestigious O Neill Music Theater Conference and she was a big fan of the novel. She invited Haagensen and Isen to conference for a limited presentation of material in 1986 and then again in 1987 where a full workshop presentation of the show was presented at the conference.

O'Neill Presentation

   Directed by Robert Kalfin

The first production at Goodspeed-at-Chester was in 1989 featuring the following cast:

   Directed by Robert Kalfin

This production broke the box office record for the Norma Terris Theater by the end of the run in August, 1998. The production was videotaped for The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre at Goodspeed the and is available there for viewing at and Lincoln Center Library's Theatre on Film and Tape Archive

The following winter, A Fine & Private Place was produced by The American Stage Company with the following cast:

   Directed by Robert Kalfin

Finally, a cast album featuring the original Goodspeed Cast was produced by Kristen Blodgette and David Lai for Clearsong Records in 2004.
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