Jenna Elfman, the star of TV's now-ended "Dharma and Greg" sitcom, has withdrawn from the forthcoming revival of Sweet Charity. The New York Post reports that Elfman, who would have been making her Broadway debut, is no longer attached to the musical, which is being produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.
Reached by phone at his Manhattan office, Barry Weissler, who was unaware of the Post report, would neither confirm nor deny the story. Weissler: "I don't want to say anything at this time. When everything's together, I'll let everyone know." Weissler also declined to comment on the possibility of Chicago transferring from the Shubert Theatre to make way for the upcoming Bernadette Peters revival of Gypsy.
Elfman's official website, however, does report that the actress will appear in a new movie opposite Brendan Fraser and Timothy Dalton. The threesome will star in the new Warner Bros. picture, "Looney Tunes: Back in Action."
In June the Weisslers confirmed that the show — with Elfman in the lead — was aiming for a spring 2003 Broadway opening following some out-of-town dates. With Elfman's departure, that time frame would seem in question.
Sweet Charity was composed by Cy Coleman with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon. The musical is based on the screenplay "Nights of Cabiria" by Federico Fellini. The most recent Broadway revival of Charity, about a good-hearted dance-hall hostess who attracts mainly bad luck, played the Minskoff Theatre in 1986-87 (directed and choreographed by the man who created the show, Bob Fosse; it would be one of his final directing jobs before his death). It starred Debbie Allen as Charity, Bebe Neuwirth as Nicky and Michael Rupert as Oscar. The 1966 original was conceived by Bob Fosse for wife Gwen Verdon, who played Charity. John McMartin played Oscar. The score includes "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Big Spender," "Baby, Dream Your Dream," "Where Am I Going?," "I'm a Brass Band," "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" and "Rhythm of Life." A film version starred Shirley MacLaine.
—By Andrew Gans and Ernio Hernandez