The Off-Broadway revival of Jacques Brel — starring former Jekyll & Hyde title player Robert Cuccioli — began previews March 5. Cuccioli is joined in the new production by Natascia Diaz, Gay Marshall and Rodney Hicks. The famed revue, which might be considered the first-ever jukebox musical, features direction by Gordon Greenberg.
Greenberg's production features the cast of four on the intimate Zipper stage with just a few set pieces and the occasional prop: a chair, a couch, a few suitcases and several glasses of alcohol. Staircases are located on both sides of the stage, one for entrances and another that leads to the small band, whose pianist, Eric Svejcar, often joins the singers. Song titles in the revue include "Le Diable (Ca Va)," "If We Only Have Love," "Alone," "I Loved," "Jackie," "My Childhood," "Madeleine," "Bachelor's Dance," "Fanette," "Le Moribund," "The Desperate Ones," "Timid Frieda," "The Statue," "Sons of," "Amsterdam," "The Bulls," "Brussels," "Ne Me Quitte Pas," "The Middle Class," "Old Folks," "Funeral Tango," "My Death," "Marieke," "Songs for Old Lovers," "Next," "You're Not Alone," "Carousel" and "If We Only Have Love."
Robert Cuccioli earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his work in Jekyll & Hyde. He won the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle awards for that performance as well. Cuccioli also appeared in the Broadway production of Les Misérables and has been seen on screen in "Sliders," "Baywatch," "Celebrity," "The Stranger" and "Operation Delta Force 3: Clear Target." His recent theatrical credits include Guys and Dolls, Temporary Help, Lorenzaccio, The Sound of Music and the Actors' Fund benefit concert of On the Twentieth Century.
Natascia Diaz has appeared on Broadway in Man of La Mancha, Seussical, The Capeman and Carousel. She was seen Off-Broadway in Bright Lights, Big City; tick, tick . . . BOOM!; and Saturday Night, and she received acclaim for her work in the Kennedy Center production of A Little Night Music.
Gay Marshall played Denise in the Paper Mill Playhouse and Goodspeed Opera House mountings of The Baker's Wife. She appeared on Broadway in A Chorus Line, in the original Paris production of Cats and in the Capital Rep production of Jacques Brel. Her solo shows are titled Piaf: La Vie l'Amour and If I Were Me. Rodney Hicks has appeared on Broadway in Rent and Jesus Christ Superstar and Off-Broadway in Dorian Gray, Beautiful and From My Hometown. His regional credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona and Lobby Hero. Hicks has been seen on screen in “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “NYPD Blue,” “Hope and Faith,” “Django” and “Bad Decisions.”
Jacques Brel Is Alive & Well & Living in Paris features music and lyrics by the late Jacques Brel; conception, English lyrics and additional material by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman. The original staging of the revue opened in 1968 at The Village Gate in New York City and ran for 1,847 performances.
Jacques Brel plays Mondays at 8 PM, Tuesdays at 7 PM, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM with matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM. Tickets, priced $65, are available by calling (212) 239-6200. The Zipper Theater is located in Manhattan at 336 West 37th Street.
For more information visit www.jacquesbrelreturns.com.