A Tree Grows on Broadway: Chenoweth, James and Kudisch Open The Apple Tree

News   A Tree Grows on Broadway: Chenoweth, James and Kudisch Open The Apple Tree The revival of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's 1966 musical The Apple Tree — starring Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, Brian d'Arcy James, Marc Kudisch and Walter Charles — opens on Broadway Dec. 14.

Kristin Chenoweth and Marc Kudisch in The Apple Tree.
Kristin Chenoweth and Marc Kudisch in The Apple Tree. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Roundabout Theatre Company production rooted at Studio 54 began previews Nov. 29, postponed one day due to an injury Chenoweth sustained during rehearsals.

Gary Griffin directs the new staging of the musical based on his 2005 New York City Center Encores! revival. Andy Blankenbuehler choreographs the limited engagement slated to run through March 11, 2007.

From the songwriting team of She Loves Me and Fiddler on the Roof, the musical features music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and a book by Bock and Harnick (with additional book material by Jerome Coopersmith). The Apple Tree is "a unique evening of three one-act musicals about men, women and a little thing called temptation" based on Mark Twain's "The Diary of Adam and Eve," Frank R. Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?" and Jules Feiffer's "Passionella."

Chenoweth reprises her Encores! turn in the central roles of Eve, Princess Barbara and Ella. James (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Lieutenant of Inishmore) appears as Adam, Sanjar and Flip. Kudisch (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Assassin) takes on Snake. Charles (Woman in White, Big River) plays King Arik, Employer and Producer.

A Tony Award winner for You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Chenoweth has also played on Broadway in Wicked, Steel Pier and Epic Proportions. She has recently taken to both the big and small screen in "The West Wing" and in the films "Bewitched," "The Pink Panther," "RV," "Running with Scissors," "Stranger Than Fiction" and "Deck the Halls." The company also features Meggie Cansler, Julie Connors, Sarah Jane Everman, Jennifer Taylor Farrell, Justin Keyes, Lorin Latarro, Mike McGowan, Sean Palmer, Eric Santagata and Dennis Stowe.

The design team includes John Lee Beatty (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Donald Holder (lights), Dan Moses Schreier (sound) and Charles LaPointe (hair and wigs). Rob Fisher provides musical direction and vocal/dance arrangements, and Jonathan Tunick handles orchestrations.

Bock and Harnick's The Apple Tree, which featured a Tony-winning performance by Barbara Harris, originally opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre in October 1966. Larry Blyden and Alan Alda also starred in the Mike Nichols staging, which was nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. (Revisit the original production with Playbill.com's Playbill Archives feature.)

Songs in the score include "Here in Eden," "Eve," "The Apple Tree (Forbidden Fruit)," "It's a Fish," "Go to Sleep Whatever You Are," "What Makes Me Love Him," "I'll Tell You A Truth," "Make Way," "I've Got What You Want," "Tiger, Tiger," "Oh, to Be a Movie Star," "Gorgeous,""(Who, Who, Who, Who) Who Is She?," "Wealth," and "You Are Not Real."

Tickets are available for The Apple Tree at Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street, by phone at (212) 719-1300 or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org.

Walter Charles, Brian d'Arcy James, Kristin Chenoweth and company in <i>The Apple Tree</i>.
Walter Charles, Brian d'Arcy James, Kristin Chenoweth and company in The Apple Tree. Photo by Joan Marcus