Al Hirschfeld Theatre, (11/23/2003 - 1/30/2005)

First Preview: Nov 05, 2003
Opening Date: Nov 23, 2003
Closing Date: Jan 30, 2005
Total Previews: 16
Total Performances: 497

Category: Musical, Comedy, Revival, Broadway
Setting: 1935. New York City.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director)

Produced by Roger Berlind and Barry & Fran Weissler; Produced in association with Edwin W. Schloss, Allen Spivak, Clear Channel Entertainment and Harvey Weinstein; Associate Producer: Daniel M. Posener

Music by Leonard Bernstein; Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov; Based on "My Sister Eileen" by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov; Based on stories by Ruth McKenney; Musical Director: Rob Fisher; Vocal arrangements by Rob Fisher; Script adapted by David Ives; Associate Musical Dir.: Rob Berman; Original orchestrations by Don Walker

Directed by Kathleen Marshall; Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall; Associate Choreographer: Vince Pesce

Scenic Design by John Lee Beatty; Costume Design by Martin Pakledinaz; Lighting Design by Peter Kaczorowski; Sound Design by Lew Mead; Hair Design by Paul Huntley; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Associate Scenic Design: Eric Renschler; Associate Costume Design: Tracy Christensen; Associate Lighting Design: Mick Smith; Associate Sound Design: Anthony Smolenski and Sten Severson

Executive Producer: Alecia Parker; General Manager: B.J. Holt; Company Manager: Hilary Hamilton

Production Supervisor: Arthur Siccardi; Production Stage Manager: Peter Hanson; Stage Manager: Kimberly Russell and Maximo Torres

Conducted by Rob Fisher and Rob Berman Alternate; Associate Conductor: Leslie Stifelman; Musical Coordinator: Seymour "Red" Press; Piano: Leslie Stifelman; Violin: Marilyn Reynolds, Christoph Franzgrote, Rebekah Johnson, Lisa Matricardi and Masako Yanagita; Viola: Jill Jaffe and Crystal Garner; Cello: Diane Barere and Lanny Paykin; Bass: Lou Bruno; Woodwinds: Steven Kenyon, Lino Gomez, Fred DeChristofaro, Edward Salkin and John Winder; Trumpet: Stu Satalof, David Trigg, David Gale and Ron Tooley; Trombone: Jack Gale, Jason Jackson and Jack Schatz; Drums & Percussion: David Ratajczak

Press Representative: The Pete Sanders Group and Pete Sanders; Casting: Jay Binder and Laura Stanczyk; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Photographer: Paul Kolnik; Dance Captain: Vince Pesce; VP Worldwide Marketing: Scott Moore; Press Associate: Glenna Freedman

[See More]

Opening Night Cast

Donna MurphyRuth Sherwood
Jennifer WestfeldtEileen Sherwood
(Nov 05, 2003 - Aug 29, 2004)
Peter BensonFrank Lippencott
Gregg EdelmanRobert Baker
David MarguliesAppopolous
Michael McGrathChick Clark
Raymond Jaramillo McLeodWreck
Nancy AndersonHelen
Ken BarnettTour Guide
Associate Editor
Policeman
Greenwich Villager
Joyce ChittickGreenwich Villager
Randy DansonMrs. Wade
Susan DerryGreenwich Villager
David EggersDrunk
Cadet
Policeman
Greenwich Villager
Rick FaugnoItalian Waiter
Cadet
Greenwich Villager
Ashley HullGreenwich Villager
Lorin LatarroGreenwich Villager
Stanley Wayne MathisSpeedy Valenti
Linda MuglestonViolet
Greenwich Villager
Tina OuGreenwich Villager
Vince PesceItalian Chef
Cadet
Policeman
Greenwich Villager
Mark PriceKid
Cadet
Greenwich Villager
Devin RichardsDrunk
Cadet
Policeman
Greenwich Villager
Angela RobinsonGreenwich Villager
Timothy ShewOfficer Lonigan
Megan SikoraGreenwich Villager
J.D. WebsterCadet
Policeman
Greenwich Villager
Ray WillsStrange Man
Associate Editor
Shore Patrolman
Policeman
Greenwich Villager

Swings: Randy Donaldson, Stephanie Fredricks, Lisa Mayer and Matthew Shepard

Understudies: Nancy Anderson (Eileen Sherwood), Joyce Chittick (Helen), Susan Derry (Eileen Sherwood), Randy Donaldson (Speedy Valenti), David Eggers (Frank Lippencott), Linda Mugleston (Mrs. Wade, Ruth Sherwood), Matthew Shepard (Officer Lonigan, Robert Baker, Wreck) and Ray Wills (Appopolous, Chick Clark)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2004 Best Revival of a Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Roger Berlind and Barry & Fran Weissler; Produced in association with Edwin W. Schloss, Allen Spivak, Clear Channel Entertainment and Harvey Weinstein

 2004 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Donna Murphy

 2004 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Jennifer Westfeldt

winner 2004 Best Choreography [winner] 

Kathleen Marshall

 2004 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

Kathleen Marshall

Drama Desk Award

 2004 Outstanding Revival of a Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Roger Berlind and Barry & Fran Weissler; Produced in association with Edwin W. Schloss, Allen Spivak, Clear Channel Entertainment and Harvey Weinstein

winner 2004 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Donna Murphy

 2004 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Raymond Jaramillo McLeod

winner 2004 Outstanding Choreography [winner] 

Kathleen Marshall

 2004 Outstanding Director of a Musical [nominee] 

Kathleen Marshall

 2004 Outstanding Set Design of a Musical [nominee] 

John Lee Beatty

Theatre World

winner 2004 Award [recipient] 

Jennifer Westfeldt

Songs

music by Leonard Bernstein; lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green

ACT 1 Sung By
Christopher Street
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Tour Guide, Tourists and Villagers
Ohio
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood and Eileen Sherwood
Conquering New York
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood, Eileen Sherwood, Frank Lippencott and New Yorkers
One Hundred Easy Ways
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood
What a Waste
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Robert Baker and Associate Editors
Ruth's Story Vignettes
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Robert Baker, Ruth Sherwood and Associate Editors
A Little Bit in Love
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Eileen Sherwood
Pass the Football
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Wreck and Villagers
Conversation Piece
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Eileen Sherwood, Frank Lippencott, Ruth Sherwood, Chick Clark and Robert Baker
A Quiet Girl
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Robert Baker
A Quiet Girl (Reprise)
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood
Conga!
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood and Cadets
Conga! (Reprise)
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
The Company
ACT 2 Sung By
My Darlin' Eileen
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Officer Lonigan, Eileen Sherwood and Policemen
Swing
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood and Villagers
Ohio (Reprise)
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood and Eileen Sherwood
It's Love
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Eileen Sherwood, Robert Baker and Villagers
Ballet at the Village Vortex
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Villagers
Wrong Note Rag
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
Ruth Sherwood, Eileen Sherwood and Villagers
Finale
(lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
The Company

Reviews


AP: "Wonderful Town a Buoyant Revival"

It's practically a lost art these days on Broadway. We're talking honest-to-goodness musical comedy: the marriage of music and mirth, an artful blend of laughter and song.

But arriving just in time to cheer us during this doleful fall season is a buoyant revival of "Wonderful Town," the Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green musical.

This production, which opened Sunday at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, may be old-fashioned, but it's not stuck in the mud. How could it be, what with Bernstein's brash, breezy music, melodies that delightfully move from swing to jazz to Latin to Irish folk to wistful ballads. And then there are those witty Comden and Green lyrics, which may suffer a bit from a loss of topicality but still are models of literate rhyme.

"Wonderful Town' was born in 1953 as a vehicle for the considerable talents of movie star Rosalind Russell. Fifty years later, it is a vehicle for the equally gifted Donna Murphy, a two-time Tony Award winner who could pick up a third next June for her sassy, snappy work here.

Murphy portrays Ruth Sherwood, one of two sisters from Columbus, Ohio, who arrive in 1930s New York to make it big - Ruth as a writer and her younger sibling, Eileen, as an actress. Ruth is smart, pragmatic and sharp-tongued; Eileen is pretty and disarming. Guess which one always gets her man?

The musical's episodic book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, adapted from their hit play "My Sister Eileen," has been tweaked by playwright David Ives. Yet the jokes are still plentiful, and the cast knows its way around every laugh line.

Watch Murphy work through the ditty "One Hundred Easy Ways (To Lose a Man)" and you'll know what impeccable comic timing is. The actress would have been perfect in those screwball film comedies of the 1930s. Her effortless delivery is dry, sardonic and hilarious.  Jennifer Westfeldt makes an appealing, sweet-tempered Eileen, and she finds the humor in this lovely lass, one who matter-of-factly accepts the adulation of every man in sight.

The two sisters find refuge in an idealized Greenwich Village, a bohemian never-never land where poets, painters, actors and writers coexist with cranky, if lovable landlords, eccentric neighbors, hardworking ladies of the night and helpful policemen, who are all Irish, of course.

In 2000, director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall oversaw an earlier edition of "Wonderful Town" at City Center's "Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert." Murphy also starred in that production.

So did a spiffy, onstage orchestra conducted by Rob Fisher, who is on the podium here, too. And the orchestra is onstage again at the Hirschfeld, 24 musicians who more than do justice to Bernstein's great music. They sit at the back of the playing area, which means all the action occurs right down front.

That's not as confining as it might seem, thanks to Marshall's astute direction. Designer John Lee Beatty drops in skeleton flats that suggest, among other things, the sisters' basement apartment, the sidewalk of fabled Christopher Street, a police station and a Village night spot.

Marshall's choreography is as lively as the score, especially her work for a riotous conga number, a jazzy ballet at the Village Vortex and the hijinks that spark the show's zesty finale, "The Wrong Note Rag."

The director has cast the smaller roles with care. Gregg Edelman is a strong-voiced suitor for Ruth, while there are fine comic turns by Peter Benson as a giddy drugstore soda jerk, Michael McGrath as a  pugnacious newspaper reporter, David Margulies as that opportunistic landlord and Raymond Jaramillo McLeod as a would-be football player stranded out of season.

There is an innocence about "Wonderful Town," which, at its core, celebrates those newcomers trying to find their way in a tough New York. But it's an innocence born of affection - and crafted with such skill that this "Wonderful Town" is impossible to resist.


AP
11/23/2003

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Al Hirschfeld Theatre

(11/23/2003 - 1/30/2005)
Company Manager: Penelope Daulton, Bobby Driggers(circa. Jul 2004 - ?); Associate Gen. Mgr: Michael Buchanan.

Stage Manager: Valerie Lau-Kee Lai, Karen Moore, Michael Wilhoite.

Associate Conductor: Josh Rosenblum; Piano: Josh Rosenblum.

Dance Captain: Joyce Chittick.

Cast

Darrin Baker
Greenwich Villager
Man with the Sign
Policeman
Shore Patrolman
Associate Editor
Strange Man
Kate Baldwin
Helen
Carol Bentley
Greenwich Villager
Jordan Cable
Italian Waiter
Joyce Chittick
Helen
James Clow
Associate Editor
Tour Guide
Toni diBuono
Mrs. Wade
Sarah Jane Everman
Broadway debut
Greenwich Villager
Martha Hawley
Mrs. Wade
Sarah Jayne Jensen
Greenwich Villager
J. Elaine Marcos
Greenwich Villager
Tom Mardirosian
Appopolous
Carolyn Ockert-Haythe
Greenwich Villager
Michael O'Donnell
Cadet
Italian Chef
Policeman
Greenwich Villager
Alex Sanchez
Italian Waiter
Greenwich Villager
Jeffrey Schecter
Kid
Cadet
Greenwich Villager
Brooke Shields
Ruth Sherwood (Sep 28, 2004 - Jan 30, 2005)
Dennis Stowe
Drunk
J.D. Webster
Eskimo Pie Man
Laurie Williamson
Greenwich Villager
Jennifer Hope Wills
Eileen Sherwood (Sep 28, 2004 - Jan 30, 2005)
Ray Wills
Chick Clark



Understudies: Darrin Baker (Appopolous, Chick Clark), Ken Barnett (Robert Baker).


View full site