Gimme Jimmy: Christian Borle Is New Juvenile Lead in Bway's Millie April 29

News   Gimme Jimmy: Christian Borle Is New Juvenile Lead in Bway's Millie April 29 Christian Borle, who recently sung Elegies at Lincoln Center Theatre, joins the Broadway company of Thoroughly Modern Millie April, as Jimmy Smith.
Christian Borle
Christian Borle

Borle replaces Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel, who originated the role of the wisecracking love interest in the musical inspired by the daffy film of the same name. Creel exited April 27.

Borle's credits include Broadway's Amour (standby for Dusoleil), Footloose (Willard) and Jesus Christ Superstar, and Off-Broadway's Elegies: A Song Cycle by William Finn at Lincoln Center and Prodigal at the York.

Off-stage, it's known in the theatre community that Borle is romantically linked to Millie herself, Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster. A spokesman also confirmed Foster has extended her contract to November.

In the show, Borle gets such choice numbers as "What Do I Need With Love?" and "I Turned the Corner." The show's new songs (in a score that draws from many sources for tunes) are by composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist and co librettist Dick Scanlan. Michael Mayer directs, with choreography by Tony-winner Rob Ashford.

* Tony Award-winner Leslie Uggams, who took home her Tony trophy for starring in Hallelujah, Baby! back in 1968, joined the cast April 22 at the Marquis Theatre. Sheryl Lee Ralph's last performance as Muzzy Van Hossmere was April 12. Terry Burrell assumed the role of the wealthy-but-grounded Muzzy in the interim. Now, Uggams sings "Only in New York," and gets the choice Act II scene in which Muzzy counsels Millie about love.

Uggams was Tony nommed for King Hedley II in 2001. Last year, Off-Broadway, she starred in Thunder Knocking on the Door. Her other Broadway appearances include Jerry's Girls, Her First Roman, Blues in the Night and Anything Goes.

The musical, Hallelujah, Baby! was a conceptual look at African-American showbusiness history, penned by the all-white creative team of Jule Styne (music), Betty Comden & Adolph Green (lyrics) and Arthur Laurents (book). Burt Shevelove directed. A cast album preserves the score, and Uggams' work. The show won the Best Musical Tony, though it had closed months before. Lillian Hayman won the Tony for Best Featured Actress (Musical). Uggams tied that year with Patricia Routledge, who starred in Darling of the Day, another closed Styne show. Styne, Comden and Green won the Best Score Tony that year.

The current cast of Thoroughly Modern Millie, the 2002 Tony winner for Best Musical, includes 2002 Best Featured Actress Tony winner Harriet Harris, plus Christopher Sieber, Angela Christian, Dave Rhee, Francis Jue and Anne L. Nathan.

Tony Award-nommed Marc Kudisch returns to the role of stuffed-shirt Trevor Graydon May 13; Sieber exits May 11.