James Naughton's solo show, set to begin performances at the Promenade Theatre in February 1999, will be a limited run, producer David Stone told Playbill On-Line. Stone also said the as-yet-untitled show will feature a different format than that seen earlier this year when Naughton -- who won a Tony for his portrayal of Billy Flynn in Chicago -- performed his act at Manhattan Theatre Club. Exact dates of the production could not be learned by press time.
Presenting the piece will be one of the theatre's most esteemed directors, Mike Nichols, said Stone. Variety reported (Dec. 11) Nichols would helm the piece. However, Stone said Nichols' involvement would not involve directing. "The show has no director," he said.
Nichols hasn't directed in New York since his 1992 production of Death and the Maiden starring Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss and Glenn Close. Prior to that, he directed Robin Williams and Steve Martin in Waiting for Godot in 1988. Nichols began his career as a director with such hits as Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple . For the past few decades, however, his film career -- launched by "The Graduate" -- has overshadowed his theatre work.
Naughton has recently been performing his cabaret act around town. His well-received act played in June at Manhattan Theatre Club. He sang classic pop standards such as "The Folks Who Live on the Hill," "Stardust" and more. On Nov. 9, he performed in a benefit for the Blue Light Theater Company, the NYC nonprofit where his son, Greg, serves as "actor manager." The one-night only event, at Carolines [sic] Comedy Nation, 1626 Broadway, featured special guest jazz pianist George Shearing, with musical director John Oddo and the John Oddo Quintet.
Naughton's stage credits include Four Baboons Adoring the Sun and City of Angels. The Yasmina Reza play The Unexpected Man will begin performances at the Promenade come September 1999.