Triumph of Love, the new musical that opened to raves at Baltimore's Center Stage Nov. 26, is being readied for Broadway, according to producer Margo Lion. (As of Jan. 16, a Broadway mounting this season remains a possibility.) The next stop on the show's journey is Yale Repertory Theatre, where the show will open Jan. 21 and run to Feb. 8.
Asked about a report in the New York Post (Jan. 17) that the producers were seriously considering bringing Triumph to the Walter Kerr Theatre (current home of Present Laughter), production spokesperson Jackie Green said, "That's purely speculation at this point."
Laughter spokesperson Roger Bean (of Jeffrey Richards Associates) told Playbill On-Line that, like every show, the Frank Langella starrer was coping with the "January doldrums:" "I heard the Kerr rumor a couple of weeks ago as inside gossip," Bean said, "but we're hunkered down for the winter and definitely in it for the long run." Asked if the spring crop of new shows would also be a threat to Laughter's box office, Bean said, "So many musicals, but how many comedies will there be? Besides, star power is a pretty potent thing."
Susan Egan, Broadway's original Belle in Beauty and the Beast, stars 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 book by James Magruder, based on the play The Triumph of Love by Pierre Marivaux.
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 musican 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 to a yet-to be-named theatre is being produced by Margo Lion in cooperation with Jujamcyn Theatres, Center Stage spokesperson Linda Geeson said.
Asked about a 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."
Lion's assistant, Zak Berkman, said Lion is looking a various scenarios that would bring the show to Broadway in spring 1997, or during the 1997-98 season.
Co-starring in Triumph are 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 will Yul Brynner), Kenny Raskin and Daniel Marcus. Pater 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 Connecticut Critics Circle winner David Budries the sound.
For tickets ($25-$30) and information on Triumph Of Love at Yale Repertory Theatre on York Street in New Haven, Jan. 16-Feb. 8, call (203) 432-1234.