Triumph of Love, the new musical that has played engagements at Center Stage in Baltimore and Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT, will open at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre Sept. 25, after beginning previews Sept. 2. According to Theatrical Index, the show will go into rehearsal July 22.
Spokesperson Amy Jacobs (of Boneau/Bryan-Brown) told Playbill On-Line (June 12) major casting would likely be announced June 16. On June 13, however, Betty Buckley told the New York Times that she and F. Murray Abraham would co-star in Triumph, alongside Susan Egan, who appeared in the show at Baltimore MD's Center Stage.
Asked about the casting news, 101 Productions told Playbill On-Line they couldn't confirm the casting and that the New York Times story was "premature." "We should know in a week," a spokesperson said.
Egan, Broadway's original Belle in Beauty and the Beast, stars as Princess Leonide in the new musical comedy, which has lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (A . . . My Name Is Alice, Jelly's Last Jam), music by Jeffrey Stock and a book by James Magruder, based on the play The Triumph of Love by Pierre Marivaux.
Buckley told the Times, "Murray Abraham and I are brother and sister. We're philosophers and ascetics who raise a young prince in a very intellectual way to deny his emotions." Buckley is best known for playing taking on Norma Desmond after Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard and also appeared in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Carrie and Cats. The announcement of Abraham's involvement is a bit of a surprise, since the actor was scheduled to play Fagin in Oliver! at Beverly MA's North Shore Music Festival in October. Asked about the switch, North Shore spokesperson Chris Kelly told Playbill On-Line Abraham was set for Oliver! but had the option to take the Broadway role if Triumph worked out. Abraham is best known for playing Salieri in the Milos Forman film of Amadeus.
When beautiful, brilliant princess Leonide becomes smitten with handsome Agis, the rightful heir to the Grecian kingdom that was usurped by Leonide's family, the girl must bend her gender and rescue her man from his stuffed-shirt uncle and dour aunt.
This musical adaptation of Marivaux began when Magruder's non-musical version of the comedy opened at Baltimore's Center Stage (where he serves as resident dramaturg) in 1993. The Broadway transfer is being produced by Margo Lion in cooperation with Jujamcyn Theatres, Center Stage spokesperson Linda Geeson said.
Asked about the Broadway transfer, Lion said, "We look forward to delivering a jewel. We've still got a lot of work to do, but it's rare that you go out of the block this fast with a new musical. We only had seven performances [previews] in Baltimore before those reviews, so we're very excited."
Further Broadway casting has not yet been announced for Triumph, but the Baltimore/New Haven production co-starred comedienne Denny Dillon (My One And Only and Toby on HBO's "Dream On"), Robert LuPone (A Chorus Line), Mary Beth Peil (The King And I with Yul Brynner), Kenny Raskin and Daniel Marcus.
Peter Matz will orchestrate the work, which is conducted by Bradley Vieth. Director Michael Mayer staged the national tour of Angels In America and the Off-Broadway productions of Antigone In New York and A View Of The Dome.
Heidi Landesman (Big River, The Secret Garden) designed the Triumph set, Catherine Zuber (The Red Shoes, The Rose Tattoo) the costumes, Brian MacDevitt (Master Class, Present Laughter) the lighting and 1997 Connecticut Critics Circle winner David Budries the sound.
Tickets have not yet gone on sale.