The Broadway-bound The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm , a new musical conceived by Mark Lamos and Mel Marvin, will begin its journey East at the Arizona Theatre Company, where it will play first at ACT's Tucson stage Dec. 5-27 (opening Dec. 11), then at the company's Phoenix location, Jan. 1-24, 1999. Mark Lamos will direct.
Lamos first staged Fascinating Rhythm in 1997 at Hartford Stage, where he was artistic director for many years. The show is a musical tribute to George and Ira Gershwin and features dozens of their songs, including "Lady Be Good," "The Man I Love," "I Got Rhythm," and "Someone to Watch Over Me." George Gershwin's centennial was on Sept. 26.
The Arizona cast features Kena Dorsey (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum ), David Elder (Titanic ), Romain Fruge (Tommy ), Chris Ghelfi (The Life ), Jillian [sic], Karen Lifshey (Show Boat ), Brian J. Marcum (Paper Mill Playhouse's Gypsy ), Jill Nicklaus (Cats ), Sara Ramirez (The Capeman ) and Scott Spahr (On the Town ).
Producer Manny Kladitis told Playbill On-Line that the show would have a brief tour before arriving on Broadway sometime in 1999. Next on the ATC schedule is Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky (Tucson: Jan 9-30, 1999; Phoenix: Feb. 4-20, 1999), a co-production with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Tim Bond will direct the tale of two faded stars of the Harlem Renaissance. The season concludes with two recent New York attractions, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Paula Vogel drama How I Learned to Drive (Tucson: Feb. 27-Mar. 20, 1999; Phoenix: Mar. 25-Apr. 10, 1999) and Alfred Uhry's Tony Award winner The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Tucson: Apr. 10-May 1, 1999; May 6-22, 1999). No directors have been selected for the final two productions.
Director Lamos' name is attached to another Broadway-bound project: a revival of Edward Albee's 1965 work, Tiny Alice, planned for late spring or early fall with Richard Thomas revisiting the lead role he played at CT's Hartford Stage earlier this year.
ATC performs at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson and the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. For ticket information, call (520) 622-2823 or 1-800-638-4253.