Dick Latessa, one of the four meddling grandparents in the Off-Broadway comedy, Over the River and Through the Woods, will leave the show Feb. 7 to join the national tour of Cabaret.
On Feb. 8, Allen Swift, the voice of Howdy Doody in the famed 1950s TV series, steps into the role of Nunzio Cristano in Joe DiPietro¹s play about a grandson who gets advice from two sets of Italian-American grandparents.
Latessa will play Herr Schultz, the doomed shopkeeper in the edgy revival of the musical, Cabaret.
Over the River is semi-autobiographical, based on Italian-American DiPietro¹s relationship with his grandparents. Previews for Over the River and Through the Woods, directed by Joel Bishoff, began Sept. 18, 1998, with an opening of Oct. 5, 1998. DiPietro and Bishoff¹s earlier collaboration was I Love You, You¹re Perfect, Now Change.
Swift¹s Broadway credits include The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards, Checking Out, My Old Friends, The Student Gypsy and How to Make a Man. Over the River celebrated its 100th performance Jan. 6. Hours after the cast party celebrating the milestone, co-producer James Hammerstein died of a heart attack, shocking the cast who had seen him so robust the night before. Over the River performances play every day but Thursday at the John Houseman Theatre, 450 W. 42nd St. Call (212) 239-6200 for ticket information.
-- By Kenneth Jones