Contact! Maltby & Shire's Take Flight Musical Has O'Hara, Borle, Edgerton and Ramey Soaring in NYC Readings

News   Contact! Maltby & Shire's Take Flight Musical Has O'Hara, Borle, Edgerton and Ramey Soaring in NYC Readings Take Flight, Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire's aborning musical about the human passion and preoccupation with flying, is being heard in private presentations in Manhattan the week of Oct. 11, Playbill On-Line has learned.
Richard Maltby
Richard Maltby Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The developing show, heard in readings in recent years, has book, lyrics and direction by Maltby and a score by Shire. The Tony Award-nominated duo previously paired on Baby, Big and the revues Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever.

The presentations for members of the industry are the culmination of a four-week workshop that hopes to launch the show toward a future production. Observers told Playbill On-Line Take Flight is Maltby and Shire's most ambitious work yet — a mixture of ravishing tunes and highly theatrical scenes that approach the subject of the human desire to strive for what hasn't been achieved.

The workshop cast includes Kelli O'Hara (Dracula) as Amelia Earhart, Christian Borle (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Wilbur Wright, Jeff Edgerton (Parade) as Orville Wright, Aaron Ramey (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Charles Lindbergh and Patrick Cassidy (42nd Street) as George Putnam.

Kevin Stites is music director. Lisa Shriver handles choreography.

The ensemble includes Ann Arvia (Beauty and the Beast), Timothy A. Fitz-Gerald (The Boy From Oz), Rita Harvey (Fiddler on the Roof), John Jellison (Titanic), Christa Justus (Titanic, Les Miz), Frank Mastrone (Big), Scott Mikita (The Phantom of the Opera) and Maureen Moore (Bernadette Peters' standby for Gypsy). Maltby and Shire recently saw a revised revival of their Broadway show Baby presented at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. The show is a favorite in regional, amateur and stock houses. Maltby wrote lyrics for Miss Saigon, and conceived and directed Broadway's Fosse and Ain't Misbehavin'. Shire is also known for his film scores, including the music for "Norma Rae," for which he won the Academy Award.

In its earlier development, Marsha Norman had worked on the libretto of Take Flight but is no longer attached.

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