Baby It's You! Loses Its "You" for the Day; Tony Nominee Beth Leavel Under the Weather

News   Baby It's You! Loses Its "You" for the Day; Tony Nominee Beth Leavel Under the Weather
 
Beth Leavel, a Tony Award nominee as Leading Actress of Broadway's Baby It's You!, is out of the show May 4 owing to illness, a spokesman said. Standby Alison Cimmet steps into the Wednesday matinee and evening performances of the pop musical.

Beth Leavel
Beth Leavel Photo by Ari Mintz

Leavel, already a Tony winner as Featured Actress in a Musical for The Drowsy Chaperone, attended a Tony press conference on Wednesday morning and later felt under the weather. On doctors' suggestion, she is sitting out the Wednesday shows. Producers hope she'll return on Thursday, a press rep said.

Baby It's You!, the story of a New Jersey housewife who launched the 1960s girl-group The Shirelles, opened on Broadway April 27 following previews from March 26 at the Broadhurst Theatre. Leavel plays record producer Greenberg, who discovered The Shirelles in her hometown and created Scepter Records, becoming a rare female executive in the record industry. Greenberg also promoted the careers of The Isley Brothers, B.J. Thomas, The Kingsmen, Chuck Jackson, Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Dionne Warwick.

The musical, using pop hits of the period, was conceived by Floyd Mutrux and is directed by Mutrux and Sheldon Epps, and written by Tony-nominated book writers Mutrux and Colin Escott, the team behind another jukebox Broadway show, Million Dollar Quartet.

Standby Cimmet, a respected character actress with powerful pipes, has appeared in Broadway's A Tale of Two Cities and regional productions of Mame (Kennedy Center), Finding Nemo (Disney workshop, cast recording) and She Loves Me (Westport Country Playhouse).

Here's how the show is characterized by the producers: "Before Motown and the British Invasion, Florence Greenberg took the male-dominated music industry by storm, revolutionizing pop music and becoming the most influential and successful female record company president ever. After discovering one of the greatest girl-groups of all time, The Shirelles, at her daughter's high school, Greenberg packed the girls in her car, drove across the George Washington Bridge to New York City, and embarked on a trailblazing journey from New Jersey housewife to record mogul, creating the independent house of hits that was Scepter Records." Tickets for Baby It's You! range from $48.50-$126.50. For information, visit Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200.

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