Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire's developing new musical project, Take Flight, is receiving private readings this week in Manhattan.
A source close to the reading told Playbill On-Line the reading of the musical — a conceptual show linking ideas about man's quest for flight and the glory that comes with it — has been in rehearsals for two weeks and will culminate in presentations Nov. 2-3.
A draft of the show had an early reading in June, offering lyricist Maltby and composer Shire their first objective hearing of the new material.
Kevin Stites (Titanic, On the Town) is musical director for the reading. The cast includes Dan Jenkins as Wilbur Wright, Clarke Thorell as Orville Wright, Christiane Noll as Amelia Earhart, Alan Campbell as Charles Lindbergh. Brent Barrett, Meg Tolin and John Jellison also have featured parts. An ensemble of five is part of the mix.
Maltby and Shire are the songwriters whose urbane Off Broadway revues, Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever, are beloved by fans of the form. Cabaret singers have plucked songs from the shows to present in boites around the world. Maltby and Shire also collaborated on the book musicals Baby and Big. Shire has scored films and Maltby conceived and staged Aint' Misbehavin' and contributed lyrics to Miss Saigon. Maltby co-directed of the Tony Award-winner, Fosse. The readings this week are private.
— By Kenneth Jones