Susan Stroman certainly likes Craig Bierko. The director-choreographer made the actor a Broadway star by casting him as Prof. Harold Hill in the 2000 revival of The Music Man. Now that Bierko is about to leave that show after a year's stay, Variety reports that he is poised to enter Stroman's next project, the Harry Connick, Jr., musical Thou Shalt Not.
Variety said Bierko was in "final negotiations." He would play Therese's lover Laurent. A spokesman for the show confirmed that Bierko was in talks to star in the show. No contracts have been signed.
The production, based on the novel, "Therese Raquin" by Emile Zola, is scheduled to open sometime this fall on Broadway. Lincoln Center Theater produces. The book is written by Tommy Thompson. Stroman will direct and choreograph. Actress Debra Monk has gone on the record as being part of the cast.
* Speaking at the 2000 Theatre Hall of Fame ceremony on Jan. 29, Monk said "Harry [Connick] is perfect for it. He has written a beautiful and wonderful score, and Tommy's book is lovely, so it's very exciting."
Monk added that, though the novel took place in the 1800's in Paris, the musical is set in the 1940's in New Orleans.
The show had a workshop at Lincoln Center Theatre on Sept. 18. LCT helped foster Stroman's last project, Contact, which went on to win the best musical Tony and is still playing at the Vivian Beaumont. Monk appeared in the workshop. Stroman and Monk worked together on Steel Pier.
First published serially in 1867 under the title "Un Mariage d'Amour," Zola's harrowing tale of passion, hatred and the ultimate destruction that can come of lust was later published in 1867 as a novel. In "Therese Raquin," a sensual wife and her lover murder the woman's husband and remarry, only to be haunted by the victim's ghost.