Actor Joe Farrell is expected to ascend the throne as the title character in Goodspeed Musicals' staging of King of Hearts this fall, Playbill On-Line has learned.
The musical flopped on Broadway in 1978 after its book was altered, but the show has a cult following. The revival production (Oct. 4-Dec. 15) represents the script as the authors — the late librettist Steve Tesich and songwriters Peter Link (lyrics) and Jacob Brackman (music) — intended it. (Joseph Stein replaced Steve Tesich in the process leading to Broadway.)
The work had an initial viewing in the Tesich version at the Westport Country Playhouse in 1977, directed by A.J. Antoon. Ron Field would stage the Broadway bow. At $1.8 million, it was briefly the biggest money loser in Broadway history, reports historian Steven Suskin, in "More Opening Nights on Broadway."
Based on a 1966 French film, "Le Roi de Couer," the story unfolds as a young World War I American soldier stumbles upon the curious inhabitants of a small French village and finds refuge and love while saving the village from the Germans.
Darko Tresnjak (Goodspeed's 2001 A Little Night Music) will direct at the Goodspeed Opera House. Farrell appeared as Henrik in Night Music. Peggy Hickey (Goodspeed's Brigadoon, On the Twentieth Century and A Little Night Music) will choreograph. Casting has not been officially announced for the production. For ticket information, call (860) 873-8668 or visit goodspeed.org.
Goodspeed Musicals, "dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre," is the recipient of two Tony Awards for its achievements. In addition to its on-stage productions, Goodspeed also maintains the Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and publishes Show Music, The Musical Theatre Magazine. Annie and Man of La Mancha had formative stagings there prior to international success.
— By Kenneth Jones