Christiane Noll will star in the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's July 27-Aug. 12 workshop of Richard Maltby, Jr-David Shire-Marsha Norman musical Take Flight. The new musical is described as a tapestry celebrating man's need to take risks, through interweaving stories of famous aviators, including the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, and Charles Lindbergh.
Noll will play Earhart, the famous woman aviator who disappeared over Asia during a round-the-world flight. Noll's credits include the musicals Jekyll & Hyde and Little By Little. Playing opposite her is Jack Noseworthy, soon to be seen in Chicago's The Sweet Smell of Success.
Take Flight received private readings in Manhattan in November 2000. A draft of the show had an early reading in June 2000, offering lyricist Maltby and composer Shire their first objective hearing of the new material.
Kevin Stites (Titanic, On the Town) was musical director for the reading. The cast included Dan Jenkins as Wilbur Wright, Clarke Thorell as Orville Wright, Christiane Noll as Amelia Earhart, Alan Campbell as Charles Lindbergh. Brent Barrett, Meg Tolin and John Jellison also have featured parts. An ensemble of five was part of the mix.
Maltby and Shire are the songwriters whose urbane Off Broadway revues, Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever, are beloved by fans of the form. Cabaret singers have plucked songs from the shows to present in boites around the world. Maltby and Shire also collaborated on the book musicals Baby and Big. Shire has scored films and Maltby conceived and staged Aint' Misbehavin' and contributed lyrics to Miss Saigon. Maltby co-directed of the Tony Award-winner, Fosse. —By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones