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Big on Broadway

Laura Little of Hayden Lake co-producer of 'Starcatcher' that claimed five Tonys

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Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012 12:00 am

Laura Little reads in the range of five scripts a month.

The owner of Laura L. Little Productions is always looking for something different, something special.

"Rarely do they make you smile or laugh or cry," she said.

But one did.

Peter and the Starcatcher.

"This one did everything. You've got to go with things like that. I go by the goosebump factor, if I get any goosebumps while I'm reading the scripts," she said. "It's all about picking out the scripts and putting the right actors in them. There's so many scripts out there."

Little loved this one. She signed on to be the co-producer of the musical that made it to Broadway. And once there, it proved the Hayden Lake woman right.

Peter and the Starcatcher recently had nine nominations and won five Tony Awards.

It took home honors for:

• Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Christian Borle

• Best Scenic Design of a Play: Donyale Werle

• Best Costume Design of a Play: Paloma Young

• Best Sound Design of a Play: Darron L. West

• Best Lighting Design of a Play: Jeff Croiter

Little and family, watching the Tony Awards from her Hayden Lake home with friends, went nuts when they heard of Borle's award.

"My whole house was in a roar when Christian Borle won best actor in a featured role," she said. "That was the award I really was hoping to see as he is off-the-charts brilliant."

"To have the physical energy he has on stage is hard to surpass," Little said.

She wished she could have been there, but was thrilled to be surrounded by many friends who invested in the show as well as people working with her on a future project.

She was pleased with the awards.

Peter and the Starcatcher "doesn't have a lot of layers to it," she said. It's about how Peter became Peter Pan, how stardust became stardust, the prequel to Peter Pan.

"It's a little bit lighter than some of these other shows," Little said.

But staff and cast were superb, she said.

"I was working with extremely talented people," she said.

Little, as they say, is not resting on her laurels.

The former executive director of Coeur d'Alene Summer Theater is busy with "Traditions of Christmas," a musical coming to Coeur d'Alene in December, and which has already sold out opening night.

She is also promoting a Doug Webster concert set for July 17 at the Kroc Center. Webster is best known for his lead role in Les Miserables on Broadway, the National Tour and Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre.

Little continues working on "Johnny Baseball," a musical about her beloved Boston Red Sox.

There will be readings from the show later this summer designed for potential investors to come and see if they want to put money into Johnny Baseball.

Little has high hopes to this one, too, but knows of the challenges that await, too.

"We would have to raise $6 million to get it to Broadway in two and a half years," she said.

Which could happen.

"It doesn't matter where your investors come from," she said. "You have to know your product well."

She said being co-producer of a Broadway show and living in North Idaho is doable, even calling it the best of both worlds, even allowing Little and husband Brent to recently open New York Bagel Cafe and Deli at 226 Ironwood Drive in Coeur d'Alene.

She flies to New York often, but works from home through Skype and emails.

"I think it's better. I really do. People that live in New York get a little narrow minded sometimes and forget about the rest of the world out there, the opportunities in the rest of the world," she said. "And people forget what New York might be like."

She's not certain how long Peter and the Starcatcher will remain on Broadway. It begins a national tour in Denver in August of 2013.

She said high schools, colleges, community and regional theaters will likely want to put it up when licensing rights become available.

But for now, she can revel in Peter's success and what that means for her career.

"Hopefully investors in this show will trust my judgment in shows and invest in future shows," Little said.

"For me, now I can call people in New York that I need to make contact with and they take you seriously. They know you're a serious contender, that you know how to pick a show."

Especially if there's goosebumps involved.

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1 comment:

  • InThePines posted at 8:58 am on Mon, Jul 2, 2012.

    InThePines Posts: 146

    Stopped by Laura's new bagel shop Sunday for an asiago bagel and it was excellent. New shop is on 95 and Ironwood just south of the bank.

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