Joanna Glushak, John Scherer and Kevin Ligon will play three characters each in the Goodspeed Opera House's fall revival of The Apple Tree, the 1966 trio of short musicals by Jerry Bock (book and music) and Sheldon Harnick (book and lyrics).
Ted Pappas will direct and choreograph the production, Oct. 8-Dec. 19, at the nationally-known revival house in East Haddam, CT.
Glushak, who appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, Rags and Welcome to the Club, will play Eve, Princess Barbara, and Ella Passionella. Barbara Harris won a Tony Award for the roles. Glushak also appeared in Goodspeed's Madame Sherry and The Chocolate Soldier.
Ligon, who toured as Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls and appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, will play the Snake, the Balladeer, and the Narrator. Those roles were originated by Larry Blyden. Both Ligon and Scherer starred in the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber's By Jeeves, at Goodspeed-at Chester/The Norma Terris Theatre. The production transferred to Los Angeles and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
The Apple Tree is a cult musical that show-tune fans may know from its cast album, but it is not as frequently revived as Bock and Harnick's Fiddler on the Roof or She Loves Me. The acts are variations on the Adam-Eve-Temptation story, drawing on shorts works by Mark Twain ("The Diary of Adam and Eve"), Frank R. Stockton's jealousy fable ("The Lady or the Tiger?") and Jules Feiffer's modern-day (1960s) celebrity fairy tale ("Passionella").
The Bock and Harnick-scripted one-acts (with additional book material by Jerome Coopersmith) -- quirky and comic in tone -- provided a wide canvas for Barbara Harris. "What Makes Me Love Him?" is the standout song from the musical.
The Apple Tree will displace Glimmerglass, the new musical about romance on the American frontier, as the final show in the Goodspeed season.
Glimmerglass will instead play the Goodspeed's second stage, Goodspeed-at-Chester/The Norma Terris Theater in Chester, CT, Nov. 11 Dec. 5. That space is devoted to new or developing works.
"Our decision to move Glimmerglass to Godspeed-at-Chester will enable us to develop this musical-in-progress to reach its highest potential and provide a flexible and nurturing environment in which the authors can work," said Goodspeed executive director Michael Price, in a statement.
The Apple Tree designers are James Noone (set), David C. Woolard (costumes) and David F. Segal (lighting). Michael O'Flaherty will conduct.
Tickets are $20-$43. For information, call (860) 873-8668.
-- By Kenneth Jones