A Little Left-over Love
You probably wouldn't think that Charlie Shanian and Shari Simpson would have anything left to say on the subject after their 11-skit "Maybe Baby, It's You," closed Jan. 2, at the Soho Playhouse, but you'd be wrong. (See realted article on page 1.) The duo will do the book for a new six-character musical called "Adventures in Love." With songs by Zina Goldrich and Mary Heisler and direction by Mark ("When Pigs Fly") Waldrop, it's set to lift off April 11, at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul. Rehearsals will be in New York, and casting will start this month or next. "We're looking for talented actors who can sing well and do character work," says Shanian. "The show will be multi-charactered so performers are going to be responsible for a variety of roles. That's how we work. We write for very specific characters."
The reason they decided to take on this show, Simpson says, is that there were a lot of things that didn't fit into their current outing. For example: "There's a scene about revenge in the other show, which is something we absolutely don't deal with at all. In this one, a woman has been waiting for her ex to call her, and, when he finally does call, she starts imagining all these scenes of revenge-one right after another, all very outlandish, made up in her own head. For example, she's married to a Nordic ski god named Sven, and her ex-boyfriend is weeping because "I've made such a mistake. You're such an amazing woman.'-everything a woman wants to hear. Then it turns up at the end, when he comes in and she goes to get revenge, she can't because she still loves him and she sings a song called "Funny How Love Gets in the Way.' " Most of the song pre-existed since the two were not attached to the project until recently, and Simpson and Shanian have written scenes around the songs. But now the tide is turning and the duo is coming up with sketch ideas that require songs. Love-it's a big subject. q
Playwright Nicky Silver has been forced to find a new muse. He wrote "The Altruist" with Patricia ("A Maiden's Prayer") Clarkson in mind for the lead, but she has gone Hollywood-with the blessings of everybody-and her role was been assigned to the equally gifted and goofy Veanne Cox, a Tony nominee for Roundabout's "Company" revival. Jake Weber and Kali Rocha will co-star in the comedy, which goes into rehearsal Jan. 19 for a Feb. 17 opening at the Vineyard. The director is David Warren, who will follow "The Altruist" in the spring by doing "The Dazzle" for The Drama Dept. Richard Greenberg wrote that comedy about the clutter-crazed Collier brothers for Peter Frechette and Reg Rogers.
In June, Warren mounts a national tour (conceivably leading to New York) of "Copacabana," the Barry Manilow musical that bowed in London a few years ago.
Keep the Faith
An absolutely hilarious riff in Faith Prince's club act, which sold out recently at the FireBird, concerns her summer-stock adventures in San Francisco in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" with Jack ("I'll find the note somehow") Jones and featured a heartfelt, in-character-as-Daisy-Gamble rendition of "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here" and "What Did I Have That I Don't Have." The numbers played fetchingly like an audition for the upcoming "Encores" edition of "Clear Day." Are you listening, Jay Binder? It was Binder who cast Prince in "The King and I," prompting an unexpected turn in her new act (singing "Something Wonderful" as her Tony-winning Miss Adelaide and making it quite touching in the process).
From Daisy Gamble to just plain "Daisy"-that's the working title of a play Joan Rivers has been working on for two years-in hopes of Broadway, again.
Domestic duties are breaking up the best ensemble group going. Single parent Julie White checked out of "Dinner With Friends" at the Variety Arts, Jan. 2, to spend time with her daughter in Los Angeles. The role will be taken over by the likewise forceful Caroline McCormick. Raves have helped Donald Margulies' insightful play to find an audience. Matthew Arkin, Lisa Emery, and Kevin Kilner continue going on all cylinders.
Matthew's dad, Alan Arkin, will be directing Elaine May's new play for Broadway, "Taller Than a Dwarf." Rehearsals start Feb. 1, with Matthew Broderick and Parker Posey. "I play an accountant who's having a hard time making ends meet and finally has a nervous breakdown," says Broderick. "He's late to work one day and can't bring himself to leave the house so his whole family comes over."
The musical version of "The Full Monty" (book by Terrence McNally, songs by rocker David Yazbek) got a successful reading recently with Jason Priestley, Tony-winner Roger Bart, and Annie Golden. Look for a full production of "The Full Monty" at San Diego's Old Globe.