"It's the first time an American cast in English is going over to present a big new musical," Skinner told Playbill On-Line. "They're gonna cast it in New York and Toronto."
Because of budget restrictions from the Moscow producer, one creator was required for both direction and choreography. Mark Bramble, the show's co-librettist, staged the current Tony Award-winning revival on Broadway and other major revivals.
"When all the big ones are done, Mark, being the author, gets the calls and then we do them as a team," Skinner said. "But this one they had to go with one person to do both."
The production is not a spinoff of the current revival, which is a revised version of the 1980 hit. Skinner created tap choreography under director-choreographer Gower Champion for the original show and directed and/or choreographed many productions — in stock, overseas and on tour — over the years. Champion died in 1980. Will Moscovites see the 1980 script and score?
"I think it's going to be that, although I'll do a lot of the new stuff that I've done in other productions," Skinner said. "I don't think we're going to do the new [Broadway] numbers. We won't do the four added ones."
Rehearsals start Aug. 26 and 42nd Street opens in Moscow the first week of October. An eight-month run is planned. The designers are Russian, but the director, stage manager and musical director will be North American.
The cast is expected to be largely made up of Equity members, but the auditions are open to anyone because there is no Equity jurisdiction in Russia, Skinner said.
Casting notices were expected to be posted imminently.