Musical based on 'Because of Winn-Dixie' planned

December 15, 2011 - 2:35 PM
Theater Because of Winn-Dixie

In this undated image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Taran the Irish wolfhound is shown. Plans are under way to create a musical based on “Because of Winn-Dixie” with songs by Duncan Sheik and Taran on stage. (AP Photo/Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Kim Tyler)

NEW YORK (AP) — Plans are under way to create a musical based on the book "Because of Winn-Dixie" with songs by Duncan Sheik and a real dog on stage.

Producers said Thursday they plan a workshop reading this spring and an out-of-town engagement and perhaps a spot on Broadway might follow.

The musical, based on the 2000 novel by Kate DiCamillo, tells the story of a stray dog that helps a girl rekindle her relationship with her father. The novel was made into a film in 2005, starring Jeff DanielS.

In addition to Sheik, who won a Tony Award for writing the music for "Spring Awakening," the producers have tapped Nell Benjamin to write the lyrics and story, and are budgeting it at $6 million to $7 million.