Amas Musical Theatre will present the New York premiere of the new musical Little Ham, based on Langston Hughes' play of the same name. The show began previews Nov. 14 and opens Nov. 28 for a run scheduled through Dec. 9. According to production spokespersons at the Tony Origlio office, the show is almost certain to extend beyond that and may even eye a small Broadway house, if reviews and audience interest so warrant. (After Dec. 9, the show would have to change from a showcase to a different union contract for a standard Off-Broadway run.) Amas Musical Theatre is co producing Ham with Off-Broadway mogul Eric Krebs. "They're really high on this project," said an Origlio spokesperson, "with an eye toward a possible Broadway run."
Set in the height of the Harlem Renaissance, the numbers games played in the streets is in danger of being taken over by the downtown mob. With the promise of big money, they coerce smooth and witty Harlem resident Little Ham into helping the shakedown. But when he's assigned to shake down Tiny Lee's Beauty Shop, he's stuck between double crossing the mob or the woman he loves.
Directed by Eric Riley, the show features music by Judd Woldin, lyrics by Richard Engquist and Judd Woldin and a book by Dan Owens. The cast includes Adrian Bailey, Ben Blake, D'Ambrose Boyd, Venida Evans, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Jerry Gallagher, Andre Garner, Danielle Greaves, Julia Lema, Stacey Sargeant, Joy Styles, Lee Summers, Richard Vida and Joe Wilson, Jr.
The creative team will offer musical direction by David Alan Bunn, choreography by Leslie Dockery, arrangements by Luther Henderson, set design by Edward T. Gianfrancesco, costume design by Bernard Grenier and lighting design by Richard Latta.
Little Ham runs Nov. 14-Dec. 9 at the Hudson Guild Theatre. For tickets and more information, please call (212) 563-2565. — Steve Luber and David Lefkowitz