Water for Elephants is headed to Broadway. The new musical based on the bestselling novel by Sara Gruen will begin performances on February 24, 2024, ahead of an official opening on March 21 at the Imperial Theatre. The show is being produced by Peter Schneider, Jennifer Costello, Grove Entertainment, Frank Marshall, Isaac Robert Hurwitz and Seth A. Goldstein.
Tony Award nominee Jessica Stone will direct the musical, which features a book by three-time Tony nominee Rick Elice and a score by PigPen Theatre Co. The show debuted in June 2023 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.
Set in 1931, Water for Elephants begins when Jacob Jankowski, a young man running toward a new life, hops aboard a train. It just so happens this “random train actually houses an entire traveling circus,” said Elice. Jacob manages to officially join the “Benzini Bros Most Spectacular Show on Earth” and finds himself a new home. But when the ringmaster brings on an elephant as the new star attraction, Jacob must train her alongside the ringmaster’s wife, Marlena. Sparks fly and Jacob’s future becomes uncertain once more.
Water for Elephants will feature circus design by Shana Carroll, choreography by Carroll and Jesse Robb and music supervision and arrangements by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Benedict Braxton-Smith. The musical will include scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by David Israel Reynoso, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Walter Trarbach, projection design by David Bengali, hair and makeup design by Campbell Young Associates, puppetry design by Camille Labarre and orchestrations by Daryl Waters. Production stage management will be by Timothy R. Semon, with casting (which is still to be announced) by Tara Rubin Casting.