Two-time Tony nominee Kevin Chamberlin (Dirty Blonde, Seussical) will play lyricist Charley Kringas in the Los Angeles staged reading of Merrily We Roll Along Sept. 23. He joins a cast that already includes Lea DeLaria and Hugh Panaro as Charley's best friends, writer Mary and composer Franklin and TV's Teri Hatcher as the moneyed Gussie.
Now a jazz singer and still a comedian, DeLaria appeared on Broadway in On the Town and The Rocky Horror Show, in which she played Eddie. Hatcher, best known for "Lois and Clark," has starred on stage in Cabaret and The Vagina Monologues. A veteran of Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera, Panaro has starred in Reprise!'s Call Me Madam and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Rounding out the cast are Jean Louisa Kelly as Beth, George Ball as Joe, James Black, Stella Stevens as KT and Ben Platt. Arthur Allan Seidelman directs with musical direction by Daryl Archibald.
Based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Merrily We Roll Along features a score by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth. Concerning the lives of three friends — composer Franklin Shepard, lyricist Charley Kringas and writer Mary Flynn — the musical is told backwards in time and boasts such classic Sondheim tunes as "Like It Was," "Not a Day Goes By," "Good Thing Going," "Now You Know," "Our Time" and "Old Friends." The musical bowed on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on Nov. 16, 1981, where it ran for only 16 performances.
Tickets to the Sept. 23 Merrily We Roll Along concert are $50. The 2002-2003 Reprise! season includes Anything Goes (Sept. 17-29), On the Twentieth Century (Jan. 21 Feb. 2, 2003) and Kismet (March 18-30, 2003). Tickets are available by calling (310) 825-2101. The Freud Playhouse is located within Macgowan Hall at UCLA. —By Christine Ehren
and Andrew Gans