The Broadway revival of Bells Are Ringing that has variously been mentioned for the Pasadena Playhouse, Boston and Broadway, will play Stamford, CT's Palace in February 2001 prior to a Broadway opening, a spokesman for the production confirmed.
Announced pre-New York engagements of the show, in Pasadena, CA, and Boston, are no longer in the plan for the Tina Landau-directed, Jeff Calhoun-choreographed revival of the 1956 musical comedy, set to star Faith Prince in the role originated by Judy Holliday.
The musical will land on Broadway after playing Stamford's Palace, where the tryout opens Feb. 20, producers confirmed. They have also mentioned David Garrison (Faust) for the role of charming con man Sandor and Beth Fowler (Beauty and the Beast, Baby) as Sue, who runs a New York City telephone answering service called Susanswerphone.
Prince, who won a Tony Award for playing Adelaide in the revival of Guys and Dolls, will play Sue's charming cousin, Ella Peterson, who works the board at Susanswerphone, meddling in the lives of clients, including the handsome playwright, Jeffrey Moss (yet to be cast).
Mitchell Maxwell, Victoria Maxwell & Mark Balsam and Robert Barandes are the revival's producing team. The libretto and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and score by Jule Styne offer a breezy, satiric, but sweetly affectionate view of then-modern New York City, where subway rides turn friendly ("Hello, Hello There!"), walks in the park become reasons for singing ("Just in Time") and celebrity soirees can make a middle-class girl feel inferior ("The Party's Over").
The score also includes "Mu-Cha-Cha," "I Met a Girl," "It's a Simple Little System," "Salzburg," "I'm Going Back," "Long Before I Knew You," "Is It a Crime?," "It's a Perfect Relationship" and "The Midas Touch" (some stage versions also have used the song "Better Than a Dream," written for the 1960 film).
The staging was to have premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse Nov. 3, but was canceled due to the huge show's financial constraints on the nonprofit house.
Actress Prince has done much musical work in New York City in recent seasons, from taking over for Blair Brown in James Joyce's The Dead to following Donna Murphy in The King and I. She's best known for her Tony-winning Adelaide in the Guys and Dolls revival. She recently released an album of her latest cabaret show, Leap of Faith.
Director Landau's recent Off-Broadway credits include Space and Dream True, and she'll stage The Ballad of Little Jo early this fall at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.