"Muscle," the musical once earmarked for Stephen Sondheim (as a companion piece to "Passion"), will start working out the week of Nov. 27 at Manhattan Borough Community College, under the direction of James Lapine, who collaborated with Sondheim on the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Sunday in the Park with George" and the Tony-winning "Passion." The show, adapted by Lapine from a novel by Sam Fussell, has lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh and music by William ("Falsettos") Finn. "Damn Yankees" Tony winner Jarrod Emick stars as a son of academics who, taking a year off between Oxford and Harvard graduate school, gets into body-building--a little too seriously--as a defense mechanism for crime-ridden urban life.
When the activity intensifies, he heads for Los Angeles to compete and gets involved with steroids before he eventually comes to his senses. The workshop co-stars Stacey Logan (the original Babette the feather-duster in "Beauty and the Beast"), Jessica Walter of "Rumors," Denise Faye of "Swinging on a Star," Brenda Braxton of "Smokey Joe''s Cafe," Darcie Roberts of "Busker Alley," William Parry of "Sunday in the Park with George" and 11 other actors. The Shuberts are looking at the show as a possibility for the 1996-97 season.