Connie Grappo Attached to Menken Musical, Big Street

News   Connie Grappo Attached to Menken Musical, Big Street Big Street, a new musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Marion Adler, now has a new book by Connie Grappo, who is also attached to the project as director.

Big Street, a new musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Marion Adler, now has a new book by Connie Grappo, who is also attached to the project as director.

Warren Leight was the previous librettist for the show, which had a workshop in New York City in fall 1999.

A spokesman for the musical said the title is currently being shopped around to various theatres and producers, with no set plans as of yet.

The show is based on the 1942 Lucille Ball-Henry Fonda film, "The Big Street," which was, in turn, drawn from the Damon Runyon story "The Little Pinks." Busboy Little Pinks loves nightclub singer Gloria from afar, but gold digging Gloria pays him no mind, setting her sights only on the most moneyed sugar daddy. Irving Reis directed the original film, which featured Ball as Gloria, Fonda as Little Pinks, and character actor Eugene Pallette as Nicely Nicely Johnson, another Runyon figure familiar from the musical, Guys and Dolls.

Grappo will direct another Menken musical, Little Shop of Horrors, on Broadway in 2003. She is the wife of Lee Wilkof, Little Shop's original Seymour. Menken's many credits include the Disney films "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Lately, he appears to be re-entering the world of theatre with some determination. In addition to the Little Shop revival, a recent program bio lists The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Kicks—two scores dating from the mid-80s which have never received New York mountings—as upcoming stage projects. Neither title, however, is slated for a production in the immediate future.

—By Robert Simonson