Performers who have RSVP'd to appear in the Manhattan Theatre Club's world premiere of The Wild Party in 2000 include former Rent stars Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel, in the respective roles of Black and Kate, and Julia K. Murney as Queenie.
The first line of the 1928 Joseph Moncure March poem on which the musical is based reads, "Queenie was a blonde, and her age stood still, and she danced twice a day in vaudeville."
The Tallulah-eyed Murney played the slinky modern love interest in the 1999 workshop of the time-travel tuner, Time and Again.
No other casting has been announced for The Wild Party. Composer librettist-lyricist Andrew Lippa's show is set to begin previews at MTC's Stage I Jan. 25, 2000, toward a Feb. 22 opening.
The story concerns sex, drink and violence a debauched Jazz Age party populated by seedy showfolk, gangsters and slumming playboys. After playing Benny in the original company of Rent, Diggs went on to success in film in "Go" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back." Menzel played performance artist Maureen in Rent. So far, the only other Rent-er to find repeated (small) screen success has been Jesse L. Martin (who played Tom Collins), seen in TV roles ("413 Hope Street," "Law & Order," "Ally McBeal").
The poetic source material for Partyis so ripe it has spawned another musical version in 1999-2000: The Public Theater's production of The Wild Party by George C. Wolfe (co-librettist and director) and Michael John LaChiusa (music, lyrics, libretto) begins performances at Broadway's Virginia Theatre April 6, 2000. Mentioned as possibilities for the cast are Mandy Patinkin and Eartha Kitt. Vanessa Williams, who appeared in the 1999 Public workshop, will not be available in early 2000 for the show, The New York Times reported.