Melissa Gilbert, star of the TV series LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, has been rumored for some time as the likely actress to play Ma in a musical theater version which has been in development.
It has now been confirmed that Gilbert will play Caroline Ingalls in the musical, which premieres in Minnesota this summer.
Patrick Swayze was connected with the musical early in its development, but I assume he is unable to play Pa due to his serious health concerns. Steve Blanchard will play Charles Ingalls.
Sara Jean Ford, who played Christine in the production I recently saw of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, will be playing Nellie Oleson.
The cast also includes Kara Lindsay as Laura, Kevin Massey as Almanzo, and Jenn Gambatese as Mary.
It appears that the musical will focus on the family's years in South Dakota.
Update: Thanks to Mrs. UNG for this link to the Guthrie Theater's page for the musical.
Incidentally, the music is by Rachel Portman, who wrote the lovely score for the Gwyneth Paltrow version of EMMA (1996).