Bells Are Ringing won't be at CA's Pasadena Playhouse this fall, but the Broadway bound production still plans on moving ahead to the Great White Way in Spring, 2001. The revival of the Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Jule Styne musical was to have premiered at the Playhouse Nov. 3, but was cancelled due to the huge show's financial constraints on the non profit house.
But that doesn't mean the Broadway run will be scrapped. With a possible tryout in Boston, the Tina Landau-directed, Jeff Calhoun-choreographed tuner still plans to make New York in time for the 2001 Tony Awards.
Faith Prince, who starred in Landau's Kennedy Center "Reprise!" concert staging of the musical a couple of seasons back, will still star in the upcoming Bells. No further casting has been announced. Joyce Van Patten and Alan Campbell co-starred in the Reprise! mounting.
Another concert version of Bells Are Ringing was staged in Los Angeles in May 1999, featuring Carolee Carmello and Stephen Bogardus. Before that, Musical Theatre Guild did a concert staging of Bells, starring Tami Tappan. Directed by Gerry McIntyre, that mounting, too, was at the Pasadena Playhouse.
The musical, originally a star vehicle for Judy Holliday about Ella Peterson, a Manhattan answering service operator who gets involved in the lives of her customers, especially a hapless playwright, with whom she falls in love, features such tunes as "The Party's Over" and "It's a Simple Little System." 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 (a role she is currently reprising opposite Stephen Bogardus at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre) to following Donna Murphy in The King and I. She's best known for her Tony-winning Adelaide in the Guys and Dolls revival. 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.
Mitchell Maxwell, Victoria Maxwell and Mark Balsam are the Broadway producing team for Bells.