After initial workshops at Lincoln Center in January 1999, Susan Stroman and John Weidman will premiere their Contact at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, beginning previews Sept. 9 for an Oct. 7 opening. Karen Ziemba (Steel Pier) and Boyd Gaines (Cabaret) star.
Stroman, while preparing Madison Square Garden's A Christmas Carol in November 1998, first told Playbill On-Line that she would be directing and choreographing the musical-dance piece with the neo-swing pop outfit, The Squirrel Nut Zippers, and librettist John Weidman.
The "dance play" is divided into three parts. In the first story, "Swinging," three 18th-century French figures carry out their romantic intrigue to jazz violinist Stephane Grappeli's rendition of "My Heart Stood Still." Sean Martin Hingston, Stephanie Michaels and Scott Taylor play the trio.
Story two, "Did You Move?," stars Ziemba as an unhappily married Queens woman who finds escape in romantic fantasies backed by the music of Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Puccini.
The final piece, "Contact," takes place in contemporary New York and, appropriately, features the music of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, as well as songs by the Beach Boys, Benny Goodman, Robert Palmer and Dion. The story follows an advertising executive (Gaines) who tries to make contact with a beautiful woman through repeated visits to an after-hours dance spot. Contact is directed and choreographed by Stroman and features a cast of 22. Stroman burst onto the scene several years ago when she choreographed the Kander and Ebb revue And the World Goes Round . She went on to choreograph Crazy for You (Tony Award) and Show Boat.
For information, call (212) 239-6200.