Off-Broadway may have just seen the demise of Fuddy Meers, but next season, Broadway may see the rise of Duddy Kravitz.
April 27-28, two backers’ readings of David Spencer’s musical adaptation of the Mordecai Richler novel, “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,” are taking place in Manhattan, under the stewardship of producer Randall L. Wreghitt. The piece, with book and lyrics by Spencer and music by Alan Menken, tells of a young, cocky, Jewish-Canadian fellow who’s a little too ambitious for his own good. The novel was also the basis for Ted Kotcheff’s 1974 film, which launched the career of star Richard Dreyfuss.
At the readings, Duddy (with the “u” pronounced as in “pudding”) will be played by Kirk McDonald, whose credits include Parade, Saturday Night and Violet. Other featured players include Kevin Cahoon (from MTC’s The Wild Party) as Virgil, Jenny Giering as Yvette, and Ron McLarty as Duddy’s father. Also in the reading cast are Howard Ross, Gerry Vicchi, Josh Alexander (who’s currently understudying Matthew Broderick in Taller Than A Dwarf), Tom Ford, Robin Baxter, Elizabeth Cherry, John Horton, Jody Ashworth, Ed Romanoff, William Wise and Joe Machota.
Christopher Ashley, who staged Lucky in the Rain at Goodspeed and Communicating Doors Off-Broadway, directs the readings.
Previously, Spencer and Menken collaborated on Weird Romance. Spencer was named winner of a Special Commendation from the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation in 1996 for his work in musical theatre. -- By David Lefkowitz