Director-choreographer Ted Pappas is helming a workshop of a new musical version of Henry Fielding's 18th-century novel, "Tom Jones," for private presentations June 28-29 in Manhattan.
The Celebrated, Scandalous, Heroic Misadventures of Tom Jones, the tuner's title, has book and lyrics by the late James Goldman (The Lion in Winter, Follies), who completed the show prior to his death in 1998. The composer is Larry Grossman, who wrote Minnie's Boys, Goodtime Charley, A Doll's Life and Grind, Broadway shows that flopped at the box office but are known to — and cherished by — musical theatre buffs.
The goal of the workshop, said widow Bobby Goldman, is "just so we can see what we have." Theatre people will be invited to the private readings and feedback will be solicited, she said in statement.
The 23-member company includes Sarah Uriarte Berry (Beauty and the Beast), Carole Shelley (Cabaret) as Regina, Michael Mulheren (Kiss Me, Kate) as Squire Western, Nick Wyman (Les Miserables) as Squire Allworthy and newcomer David Ayers as Tom Jones.
The bawdy 1749 English novel focuses on foundling Tom Jones and his bawdy exploits and the influence of his guardian, Squire Allworthy. Pappas is the artistic director of Pittsburgh Public Theatre and president of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
— By Kenneth Jones