Jay Records will preserve the Lynn Ahrens Stephen Flaherty score of A Man of No Importance — their Lincoln Center Theater collaboration with librettist Terrence McNally — on a cast album to be recorded Dec. 16, a spokesman confirmed.
No release date has been announced, but early 2003 is expected. The limited-run engagement of the new musical at LCT's Off-Broadway venue, the Mitzi Newhouse Theater, continues to Dec. 29.
Man began previews Sept. 12, working toward an opening Oct. 10. Roger Rees and Faith Prince lead the cast. They are supported by of Ronn Carroll, Luther Creek, Michael McCormick, Jessica Molaskey, Martin Moran, Sally Murphy, Charles Keating, Barbara Marineau, Sean McCourt, Katherine McGrath, Patti Perkins and Steven Pasquale.
The show is based on the 1994 film of the same name. The movie, set in 1963 Dublin, starred Albert Finney as Alfie Byrne (Rees), a closeted gay bus conductor with a passion for Oscar Wilde. In middle-age, he still lives with his sister (Prince), who is waiting for him to marry before she says "I do" to her beau (per propriety). The film concerns Alfie's torn passion for two people and his coming to terms with his true nature as he directs an amateur church staging of Wilde's Salome.
The title is a play on the Wilde work A Woman of No Importance. The Flaherty score is kissed with an Irish flavor, offering a period pop sound ("The Streets of Dublin"), songs worthy of an Irish tenor ("The Cuddles Mary Gave") and humane ballads ("Love Who You Love," "Princess"), to say nothing of a jaunty signature show tune, "Going Up," a reference to putting on shows. A Man of No Importance has musical staging by Jonathan Butterell, musical direction by Ted Sperling (recently named associate artistic director of Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia), sets by Loy Arcenas, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Scott Lehrer.
The show received a reading at Lincoln Center Theater in March 2001. Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Frankie and Johnny...) directed and repeats his duties for the full production.
The work of Tony Award-winning Ahrens and Flaherty is preserved on cast albums of Lucky Stiff, Once On This Island, My Favorite Year, Ragtime and Seussical, as well as the soundtrack of the film, "Anastasia."
— By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson