John Doyle's Rodgers and Hart Musical, Ten Cents a Dance, Premieres at Williamstown

News   John Doyle's Rodgers and Hart Musical, Ten Cents a Dance, Premieres at Williamstown
 
The Williamstown Theatre Festival's U.S. premiere of Ten Cents a Dance, the new Rodgers and Hart musical crafted by Tony Award-winning director John Doyle, which stars Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie and Tony nominee Malcolm Gets, begins performances Aug. 11.

John Doyle
John Doyle Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Doyle (a Tony winner for Sweeney Todd) is taking a new look at his actor-musician piece that uses the songs of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for its score. An earlier version debuted at the U.K.'s Watermill Theatre in 2002.

"The casting has determined the difference [in the Williamstown production] to a large extent," Doyle told Playbill.com. "It is totally rearranged music. It's physically entirely different. Different designers. So, really, I went back to the material and started again, and I restructured quite a lot of who sings what. You know, when it was first put together, it was put together around six performers — I tailored it according to their particular skills, and I did the same thing again this time. The basic notion [is] of this man meeting this woman by the 'Blue Moon,' if you like, in the night, who he remembers and who has been a relationship in his life. It's a broken relationship. That still stands, and the reconciliation that comes through song is still pretty well the same, but I think this has got a great deal more of dramatic depth to it, really."

Ten Cents a Dance will run through Aug. 28 on the Williamstown main stage. The production is a co-presentation with the McCarter Theatre Center, where it will also run Sept. 9-Oct. 9.

The cast features Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) as Miss Jones Five, Tony nominee Malcolm Gets (The Story of My Life) as Johnny, Lauren Molina (Sweeney Todd) as Miss Jones One, Jane Pfitsch (Company) as Miss Jones Two, Jessica Tyler Wright (Sweeney Todd) as Miss Jones Three and Diana DiMarzio (Sweeney Todd) as Miss Jones Four.

Click here to read Playbill.com's "Brief Encounter" with Doyle. Here's how WTF bills the premiere: "Crooner Johnny wistfully recalls his lifelong love affair of chorus girl Miss Jones, who is embodied by five women, each portraying a different stage of her life. As Johnny and Miss Jones take 'Manhattan' under a 'Blue Moon' while 'Falling in Love with Love,' you can't help but think 'Isn't it Romantic?' — even if sometimes 'The Lady is a Tramp.' These and so many other unforgettable songs — filled with infatuation, longing, and enchantment — will sparkle like a glass of champagne on a sexy summer evening. 'All you need is a ticket, come on big boy, ten cents a dance.'"

The creative team includes previous Doyle collaborator Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who will musical direct and orchestrate, as well as Scott Pask (scenic design), Ann Hould-Ward (costume design), Jane Cox (lighting design) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound design/composer). Dontee Kiehn is the movement consultant.

U.K.-born director Doyle, who staged the Broadway revivals of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Company, will next take on the composer-lyricist's short-lived musical Merrily We Roll Along at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in March 2012.

Doyle also collaborated with Sondheim on the 2008 Off-Broadway production of Road Show, which bowed at the Public Theater and debuted at London's Menier Chocolate Factory this summer. He earned a Tony Award for his direction of the 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd and also directed the Broadway musical A Catered Affair.

For tickets visit WilliamstownTheatreFestival.

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