Tomei, currently on Broadway in the title role of Salome: The Reading, is still on board as hopeful dance hostess Charity Hope Valentine. The Barry and Fran Weissler-Clear Channel production has found a new director in Timothy Sheader.
Sheader directed a well received mounting of the Neil Simon-Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields show at The Crucible in Sheffield, England, in late 2002. That staging was praised, as was star Anna-Jane Casey. If Sheader continues with the project, he will be the latest British director hired to pilot a major American musical revival. Over the last season, Jonathan Kent directed Man of La Mancha, David Leveaux staged Nine and Sam Mendes mounted Gypsy. All three are still running on Broadway.
A casting notice indicated Mark Dendy as choreographer. Dates are June 23-July 15. Before the production was postponed, Robert Cuccioli had been offered the role of Italian movie star Vittorio Vidal, who has a brief encounter with Charity, leading her to sing "If My Friends Could See Me Now." It is not known whether Cuccioli is still involved.
Walter Bobbie exited as director of the project in February 2003. The reason given was that Bobbie and producer Barry Weissler could not concur on the makeup of the show's creative team. The parting was described as amicable. Since a new director had to be secured, the production was unable to meet the established pre-Broadway dates in Toronto and Chicago. A Broadway opening last scheduled for late January 2004 was delayed.
The show will mark the Broadway musical comedy debut of Marisa Tomei, who won the Academy Award for "My Cousin Vinnie." Her Broadway debut was a revival of the thriller Wait Until Dark two seasons ago.