‘Little Miss Sunshine’ Brings the Pageant to Off-Broadway

A new musical adaptation of “Little Miss Sunshine” will open the 35th season at the Second Stage Theatre Off Broadway.

The musical is based on the 2006 film of the same name, and is written by Tony winners William Finn and James Lapine. The musical had its world premiere in California at the La Jolla Playhouse, but the new production is a major reworking that only keeps three songs from that version. The new production will kick off the season on October 15, and an official opening will be held sometime in mid-November.

“I am thrilled to kick off our 35th anniversary season with Little Miss Sunshine and to welcome back William Finn and James Lapine, two artists who have significant histories with Second Stage, most recently with our production of their musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” said Carole Rothman, Second Stage artistic director, in a statement. “It seems appropriate to kick off this landmark season with a musical about optimism and resiliency, two qualities that are crucial for any not-for-profit theatre celebrating its past while also looking to its future. I can’t wait to introduce this exuberant, funny, and sophisticated new musical to our audience.”

Lapine will direct the Second Stage version. Here’s how it is being billed:

On life’s twisty road, sometimes you need to pull over and change direction. When the coveted title of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is unexpectedly within her reach, young Olive Hoover convinces her family to make the 800 mile trek to the pre-teen pageant of her dreams. Along the way, a series of mishaps threatens to derail the group’s quest for the crown, until they realize a young girl’s far-fetched goal may actually hold the key to the family’s happiness. From the Tony Award-winning team of James Lapine and William Finn comes Little Miss Sunshine, a new musical comedy about one modern family’s unexpected route to brighter days.