The new musical by Cy Coleman, Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Larry Gelbart, also stars Lillias White (Once on This Island, The Life) and Harry Groener (Imaginary Friends, Crazy For You). Subtitled A New Kind of Musical, the show will begin at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum Nov. 21 and open Dec. 4. Austin, who has a prior engagement in Indonesia, will return to the show for the remainder of the run through Jan. 25, 2004.
Devised from a "Portraits in Jazz" concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts created by Coleman and the Bergmans, the work featuring sixteen original song will be a celebration of the art form and its artists. Taper artistic director Gordon Davidson will direct with choreography by Patricia Birch.
Like Jazz features music by Coleman (Little Me, Sweet Charity, Barnum, City of Angels), lyrics from the Bergmans (Street Corner Symphony, Ballroom) and book by Gelbart (...Forum, City of Angels).
Also featured in the cast are singers Jennifer Chada, Cleavant Derricks and Jack Sheldon with dancers Katy Durham, Dameka Hayes, Greg Poland, Timothy Ware, Carlton Wilborn and Natalie Willes.
The design team for Like Jazz will include D Martyn Bookwalter (set and lighting), Judith Dolan (costumes), Jon Gottlieb and Phillip G. Allen (sound) and Marc I. Rosenthal (projections). Tom Kubis will serve as music director.
For tickets to Like Jazz at the Taper, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA, call (213) 628-2772 or visit www.taperahmanson.com.