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'Tuck Everlasting' is adapted into a musical

'Tuck Everlasting' will premiere in Boston in July, directed by one of the Tony-winning directors of 'The Book of Mormon.'

By Staff Writer / January 23, 2013

'Tuck Everlasting' by Natalie Babbitt was first released in 1975.

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Another beloved children’s book is getting the stage treatment.

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Natalie Babbitt’s book “Tuck Everlasting,” first published in 1975, is being adapted into a stage musical that will premiere in Boston at the Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre in July. The show, which is taking place with Babbitt’s approval, was adapted by writer Claudia Shearer and is being directed by Casey Nicholaw, who snagged a Tony for Best Direction of a Musical for his work on the enormously successful show “The Book of Mormon.” Music is by Chris Miller and lyrics are by Nathan Tysen.

“Tuck Everlasting” was planned to premiere in May, but production delays have pushed that date back to July. 

The novel follows Winnie Foster, a young girl who meets a family, the Tucks, who drank from an enchanted spring and can now live forever. Winnie must choose whether to drink from the spring as well and stay with them or pursue a normal life.

In discussing the show, Babbitt says that she often got concerned questions from parents who couldn’t believe her novel, with its serious themes, was aimed at children.

“Adults say to me, ‘What, you’re writing a book for children about death?’ ” the author said. “ 'They don’t know anything about death.’ Of course they do.” She mentioned circumstances such as a pet or grandparent dying in which children would have come face-to-face with it.

She said she was very happy with the musical.

“It all is magic to me,” Babbitt said. “[The creative team is] doing a beautiful job.” 

The role of Winnie will be played by actress Sadie Sink, while the Tuck son she befriends, Jesse, will be portrayed by Andrew Keenan-Bolger and his mother, Mae, will be played by actress Carolee Carmello.

The show will premiere July 28. "Tuck" was previously adapted into a film which was released in 2002 and starred "Gilmore Girls" actress Alexis Bledel as Winnie; William Hurt as the Tuck patriarch, Angus; and Sissy Spacek as Mae.

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