Will the biblical buzz be borne out?
That's the question facing Epic Proportions, a zany new comedy starting previews Sept. 7 at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre. The industry buzz has been good on the show, which was initially supposed to start previews Aug. 17 but, owing to technical work, moved the first date to Sept. 1 and again to Sept. 7. Opening night has remained Sept. 30 throughout.
Larry Coen and David Crane's comedy features Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth and a number of other actors known for their comedic work: 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). 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. 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."