Jim Dale and Designer Isaac Mizrahi Join The Threepenny Opera Team for Broadway

News   Jim Dale and Designer Isaac Mizrahi Join The Threepenny Opera Team for Broadway Tony Award winner Jim Dale will join Alan Cumming, Edie Falco and Nellie McKay in costumes provided by designer Isaac Mizrahi for the upcoming Wallace Shawn adaptation of The Threepenny Opera set for Broadway's Studio 54.

Jim Dale
Jim Dale Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Scott Elliott (Hurlyburly, The Women) will direct the Roundabout Theatre Company commission which will begin performances March 24, 2006 and open April 20 at Studio 54, the company announced Nov. 7.

Shawn (Aunt Dan and Lemon) translates and adapts the original German book and lyrics of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's classic musical Die Dreigroschenoper. Set in London in the 1800s, the The Threepenny Opera concerns a notorious bandit who marries a girl, much to the chagrin of her father. The peeved patriarch does everything in his power to imprison his son-in-law in this political and social satire.

Dale created the title role in Barnum earning him the 1980 Tony Award. He also earned nominations for his turns in Joe Egg and Candide. Other credits include Scapino, Me and My Girl, Comedians and most recently Address Unknkown. Dale is also "The Voice of Harry Potter," as he provided voice for the audio recordings of all five "Harry Potter" books—which earned him a 2001 Grammy Award for "Best Children's Audio Book" and a Guinness World Record for having created and recorded 134 voices for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

Tony Award winner Cumming will reprise the role of Macheath — which he played in a recent workshop that also starred Falco, who will play the prostitute Jenny. McKay plays the young bride Polly. Dale will take on the role of Mr. Peachum. More casting and creatives to be announced.

The design team for The Threepenny Opera features Derek McLane (sets), Isaac Mizrahi (costumes) and Jason Lyons (lights). Kevin Stites serves as the music director. Fashion personality Mizrahi previously collaborated with director Elliott on the Roundabout's revival of The Women for his Broadway debut. He will again join the stage director for his upcoming Broadway revival of Barefoot in the Park.

Cumming, who won a Tony Award for his performance as the Emcee in the Broadway revival of Cabaret, currently appears in the sequel "Son of Mask". The Scottish thespian has starred on stage in Design for Living and his theatre company Art Party's inaugural production, Elle. He has also appeared on film in Circle of Friends," "Plunkett & Macleane," "Titus," "Nicholas Nickleby" and "The Anniversary Party" — which he wrote and directed with Jennifer Jason Leigh — as well as television roles in "Annie," "God, The Devil and Bob," "The Goodbye Girl" and the upcoming TV movie version of the musical Reefer Madness.

Falco — Emmy Award-winning star of the HBO mob hit "The Sopranos" — was last seen on Broadway in the Michael Mayer-directed revival of Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother. The actress made her Broadway debut in the Warren Leight play Side Man and has also appeared on Broadway in Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Songstress McKay — who will perform as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center's "2005 American Songbook Series" March 1 — was signed to Columbia Records in 2003 and released her debut double-disc album, the jazz-influenced edgy "Get Away from Me" in Febuary 2004. The up-and-coming blond Harlem native has opened for Cyndi Lauper, Sting, Barenaked Ladies and Alanis Morissette as well as Lou Reed at Carnegie Hall.

Roundabout announced the work in June 2003 for the 2004-2005 season, but later bumped it from the lineup. The Brecht-Weill work was last revived for the Broadway stage in 1989 as 3 Penny Opera starring former "The Police" frontman Sting.

Actor-playwright Shawn recently starred opposite Ethan Hawke in Elliott's Off Broadway staging of David Rabe's Hurylyburly. He also appeared in the recent New York Theatre Workshop reading of David Hare's Stuff Happens as United Nations inspector Hans Blix. He is known for his turns in the films "My Dinner With Andre," "The Princess Bride" and as the voice of Rex in the "Toy Story" movies.

As a playwright, Shawn's Aunt Dan and Lemon was revived by The New Group last season. His other works include Marie and Bruce — his screen adaptation of which starring Matthew Broderick debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival — and The Designated Mourner, which was staged in New York in 2000 with Shawn and Larry Pine in a cast directed by Andre Gregory.

Founding Artistic Director of Off-Broadway's The New Group, Elliott directed Shawn's Aunt Dan and Lemon for the company as well as the 2001 Broadway revival of The Women for Roundabout. Other credits include Three Sisters, Present Laughter, Kiki & Herb: A Coup de Theatre, The Women of Lockerbie, Comedians and Smelling a Rat. A one-time performer, he appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables and Ain't Broadway Grand.

Tickets go on sale in January 2006 through Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300. For more information, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.

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