NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ The Shubert Performing Arts Center hopes its Broadway premiere of a new musical will help re-establish its claim to fame as ``The Birthplace of the Nation's Greatest Hits.''

``The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'' started a two-week premiere run at the Shubert on Tuesday. The musical is scheduled to open later this year at Broadway's Minskoff Theater.

In the 1940s and '50s, the Shubert showed world premieres of ``Oklahoma!'' ``Annie Get Your Gun,'' ``South Pacific,'' ``My Fair Lady,'' ``The Sound of Music'' and other Broadway hits.

``It feels like you are in the middle of a historic place, really the Bethlehem of musicals,'' said ``Tom Sawyer'' songwriter Don Schlitz.

Helen Yutenkas, an usher at the Shubert for 14 years, said the premiere reminded her of the plays she saw as a child.

``Working here now is like a blood transfusion,'' she said. ``It revs me right up.''

Schlitz, a Grammy-winner, has written hit songs for Kenny Rogers, The Judds, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Randy Travis.

The script is by Ken Ludwig, who wrote ``Crazy for You,'' ``Moon Over Buffalo'' and ``Lend Me a Tenor.''