Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik, and Jessie Nelson's musical Alice by Heart has joined the Music Theatre International catalog for licensing, with rights slated to become available for productions in early 2023 for a limited time.
Inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, the musical follows a World War II-era young girl hiding in a London Tube station during the Blitz, escaping into the classic book and journeying into Wonderland. The score reunited the Tony- and Grammy-winning songwriting team behind Spring Awakening, with music by Sheik and lyrics by Sater. The book is co-written by Nelson (Waitress) and Sater.
The musical was originally commissioned by London's National Theatre in 2012, after which it was performed by youth theatre companies across the U.K. The work had its official world premiere Off-Broadway via MCC Theater in 2019 with a cast including Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Z Infante, Wesley Taylor, Catherine Ricafort, Colton Ryan, Andrew Kober, Heath Saunders, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, and Grace McLean. Nelson directed. An original cast album was released the same year from Ghostlight Records, and Sater adapted the work as a young adult novel in 2020.
"When we set out to create Alice by Heart, our aim was to construct a show which could touch young hearts," shares Sater, Sheik, and Nelson in a joint statement. "And from our earliest performances at MCC Theater, it was remarkable the way young people took to the show. Never could we have imagined, though, how timely our musical would become, what with the onset of the COVID pandemic, the global refuge crises, the war in Ukraine... Sheltering in an Underground Station during World War II, it is only through the power of the imagination—and the real magic of theatre—that Alice is able to transcend the hardships she faces and transport Alfred and herself to Wonderland. The overwhelming response to our cast album and the countless loving messages we’ve received have moved us profoundly. Making the show available to you all now is our way of saying thanks."
"Steven, Duncan, and Jessie have created something truly special with their inventive reimagining of the classic Lewis Carroll story," adds MTI President and CEO Drew Cohen. "Both London and Wonderland provide the backdrop for a beautiful exploration of the human condition, and the book, music, and lyrics artfully interweave between these two settings. It’s no surprise that theatres all across the country have been asking about performing Alice by Heart since its run at the MCC Theater."
For more information, visit MTIShows.com.