Though previews don't begin for another week (Sept. 7, recently pushed up from Sept. 1 to allow more time for technical work), the buzz is already starting for the new comedy, Epic Proportions, opening Sept. 30 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Industry word of mouth is apparently good on the zany piece, which features Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth and a number of other actors known for their comedic work.
Also in the Epic cast are Alan Tudyk, Ruth Williamson, Ross Lehman and Richard B. Shull. Tudyk came to New York's attention playing a host of characters in the Gilda Radner-based comedy, Bunny Bunny and recently starred in Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told; Williamson is a veteran of the Charles Busch campy camp and played over-the-top roles in The Green Heart and Queen Amarantha, as well as the Martin Short Little Me; Lehman replaced Mark Linn Baker as Hysterium in the recent Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum. Veteran stage and TV actor Shull appeared in Neil Simon's Fools.
Other cast-members of Epic Proportions include Jeremy Davidson (La Terrasse at MTC; Nijinksy's Last Dance in Washington DC); Richard Ziman (Not About Nightingales) and Tom Beckett (Communicating Doors, The Father at the Roundabout). Previews for Epic Proportions were initially supposed to start Aug. 17, then moved to Sept. 1 and again to Sept. 7, though the Sept. 30 opening date has not changed. Tickets are on sale via Telecharge (212) 239-6200.
Jerry Zaks, who staged the aforementioned Forum revival and performed last-minute triage on The Capeman, will direct Epic Proportions, a comedy by Larry Coen and David Crane. The show is produced by Brent Peek, Mark Schwartz, Bob Cuillo, Bob Barandes and Matthew Farrell. Designing the show are David Gallo (set), who also designed the aforementioned Bunny Bunny; Paul Gallo (lighting), William Ivey Long (costumes) and Aural Fixation (sound).
A look at Hollywood during the Studio Era, Epic Proportions takes place on the set of a 1930s Biblical epic. Chenoweth (A New BraIn and a Tony winner for You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown), Davidson and Tudyk are three sides of a love triangle; most of the actors play "a cast of thousands." Coen and Crane penned the script three years ago but were waiting for Zaks to come available to direct. Co-author Crane is the co-creator of the TV sitcoms "Friends" and "Veronica's Closet" and serves as executive producer on "Jesse."