Buckley Released from Hospital; 1st Triumph Preview Now Sept. 27

News   Buckley Released from Hospital; 1st Triumph Preview Now Sept. 27
 
The first preview for the new Broadway musical, Triumph of Love, has been postponed four days to Sept. 27, though the opening remains Oct. 23.
Susan Egan in costume
Susan Egan in costume Photo by Photo by Joan Marcus

The first preview for the new Broadway musical, Triumph of Love, has been postponed four days to Sept. 27, though the opening remains Oct. 23.

The musical stars Susan Egan, Betty Buckley, F. Murray Abraham, Christopher Sieber, Kevin Chamberlin, Roger Bart and Nancy Opel. Opel replaced comedienne Elayne Boosler, who "withdrew" from the show "due to creative differences" Aug. 25. Buckley is currently on leave from rehearsals for back surgery. Buckley was released from the hospital Sept. 6, according to production spokesman John Barlow. She will be confined to bed rest for two or three weeks, but is expected to return in time for Triumph's Oct. 23 opening.

Based on an 18th century play by Pierre Marivaux, the Jeffrey Stock/Susan Birkenhead musical will play at Broadway's Royale Theatre. (The show was originally scheduled to open Sept. 25 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.) Tickets are now on sale at (212) 239-6200; outside metro NY: (800) 447-7400. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line. The Royale Theatre box office opens Sept. 8.

Triumph of Love has played engagements at Center Stage in Baltimore and Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT. Egan, who originated the role of Belle in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast and gives her voice to the female lead in the current Disney animinated feature Hercules, was retained from the casts of those productions.

The musical has lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (A . . . My Name Is Alice, Jelly's Last Jam), music by Jeffrey Stock and a book by James Magruder, based on the 1732 play The Triumph of Love by Pierre Marivaux. Buckley told the New York Times, "Murray Abraham and I are brother and sister. We're philosophers and ascetics who raise a young prince in a very intellectual way to deny his emotions." Buckley, who plays Hesione, is best known for taking on Norma Desmond after Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard and also appeared in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Carrie and Cats. The announcement of Abraham's involvement is a bit of a surprise, since the actor was scheduled to play Fagin in Oliver! at Beverly MA's North Shore Music Festival in October. Asked about the switch, North Shore spokesperson Chris Kelly told Playbill On-Line Abraham was set for Oliver! but had the option to take the Broadway role if Triumph worked out. Abraham is best known for playing Salieri in the Milos Forman film of Amadeus and Pozzo in the Lincoln Center production of Waiting for Godot starring opposite Steve Martin and Robin Williams.

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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 musical 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). The Broadway transfer is being produced by Margo Lion in cooperation with Jujamcyn Theatres, Center Stage spokesperson Linda Geeson said.

Asked about the 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."

Bruce Coughlin 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. Doug Varone will choreograph.

Heidi Landesman (Big River, The Secret Garden) will design the Triumph set, Catherine Zuber (The Red Shoes, The Rose Tattoo) the costumes, Paul Gallo the lighting, and Brian Ronan the sound.

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