Douglas Sills and Gregory Jbara Part of 5,000 Fingers Workshop June 11

News   Douglas Sills and Gregory Jbara Part of 5,000 Fingers Workshop June 11 A star-studded cast will take part in a workshop of the new musical The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T June 11.
Douglas Sills (top) and Gregory Jbara (bottom)
Douglas Sills (top) and Gregory Jbara (bottom)

Douglas Sills, who currently stars in the Broadway bow of Little Shop of Horrors, will take on the role of the maniacal monster Dr. T with Gregory Jbara as the super, Nicolas King as Bart and Nancy Anderson as Bart's mom. The cast also includes Jennifer Gambatese, Amy McAlexander, Joy Lynn Mathews, Blake Ewing, Don Mayo and Daniel Marcus. The workshop is being produced by Producers 4: Ben Mordecai, Brian Brolly, Michael Jenkins and Robert Bartner. That producing group is also shepherding Brooklyn to Broadway next fall.

In March a reading of the first act of 5,000 Fingers was held in Manhattan. The June 11 performance will feature the entire two-act show. An adaptation of the 1953 movie of the same name, the musical features a score by Glen Roven and a book by Karen Hartman. Susan Schulman — of The Secret Garden fame — is directing the reading with musical direction by Larry Yurman and Deborah Abramamson.

The 1953 film, which is a cult musical fantasy classic firmly rooted in the Cold War era, was written by Theodor ("Dr. Seuss") Geisel. "5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" tells of a young boy who grudgingly takes piano lessons from Dr. Terwilliker. The youth fantasizes that the evil Dr. T enlists 500 children to play the concerto he's written on the world's biggest piano. Dr. T enrolls them in a huge music institute, and a boy (Bart) tries to defeat his evil plan. In a subplot, the boy's mom is a single parent, and Dr. T. tries to romance her. But it's the friendly plumber from next door who's the hero who ends up with the mother and the boy.

Word of a musical adaptation of the film, "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," first surfaced in 2000, at the time with actor-author Simon Callow directing and Quinny Sacks, a West End and international ballet veteran, choreographing. Jim Dale was also attached to the project at one point.