Actresses Candy Buckley and Lauren Ward have joined the growing cast of Wise Guys, a spokesman for the two performers told Playbill On-Line. The new Broadway-bound, Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical is currently preparing for a workshop at the New York Theatre Workshop, Oct. 29 to Nov. 20.
Candy Buckley, who will play the role formerly intended for Debra Monk, has been seen in such Off-Broadway efforts as Communicating Doors, Defying Gravity and View of the Dome.
Lauren Ward made a splash Off-Broadway several seasons back in the musical Violet at Playwrights Horizons. Since then, she has appeared in 1776 on Broadway and in Cy Coleman's Exactly Like You at the York Theatre Company.
Also in the cast is Christopher Fitzgerald, formerly the apostle Thomas in Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi. A show spokesman said Fitzgerald will play multiple roles.
The show will be headlined by Victor Garber and Nathan Lane. Sam Mendes (Cabaret) will direct. Producers have announced a Broadway opening date of April 27, though a theatre is yet to be announced. Tickets for the workshop production will be available only to New York Theatre Workshop members. No public tickets will be available.
Lane and Garber will play the eccentric brothers, Wilson and Addison Mizner, in Sondheim's vaudeville-style musical biography. Wise Guys, first conceived of by Sondheim some four decades ago, was commissioned by the Kennedy Center in D.C. and was originally scheduled to open in fall 1996. Since then, it has been repeatedly postponed, though at least two readings have been done in New York, one on March 27, 1997 featuring Victor Garber as Wilson, the other on Nov. 8, 1997 with Garber as Wilson and Lane as Addison.
In a Sept. 12 article written by Sondheim for the New York Times, Sondheim closed by saying, "I have three points I wish to make about Wise Guys:
It's not about the Mafia.
It's a musical comedy
It's here. At last."
--By Robert Simonson