September 1998 will see two incarnations of Kelly, the Moose Charlap/Eddie Lawrence Broadway musical that closed after a single performance, Feb. 6, 1965.
Brian d'Arcy James (Titanic) will star in a concert performance of the ill-fated musical Off-Broadway Sept. 18-20 as part of "Musicals In Mufti," York Theatre's Off-Broadway musicals-in-concert revival series, in which shows are performed in mufti (i.e. street clothes).
Also, Bruce Yeko's Original Cast Records will release an all star recording of the score that month, featuring performances by d'Arcy James, Marcia Lewis, Jane Connell, Marge Redmond and George S. Irving.
Kelly is one of Broadway's most famous. . . um. . . disappointments. "We don't use the `f' word -- flop," said York artistic director James Morgan. "It has a lot of potential that was muddled by the time it got to Broadway."
Based on the true story of a man who agreed jump off the Brooklyn Bridge on a bet, the show suffered from legendary out-of-town conflicts between creators and producers, with songs and performers being added and subtracted as Broadway opening bore down on the production. Starring Don Franks and Anie Gillette, the original production played one performance but lost $650,000 for producers David Susskind, Daniel Melnick and Joseph E. Levine -- a record for that time.
Donna Kaz will direct Kelly in its first production since its Broadway premiere.
The "Musicals in Mufti" series opens Sept. 11-12 with a concert performance of the short-run Jule Styne/E.Y. "Yip" Harburg musical Darling of the Day and concludes Sept. 25-27 with the Morton Gould/Betty Comden/Adolph Green musical Billion Dollar Baby
For information on shows at the York Theatre Company, call (212) 935 5820. Subscriptions to the series are now on sale; single tickets go on sale Aug. 11.
-- By Robert Viagas