John C. Reilly as the title character in the musical Marty.
Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Plans for the new musical to reach The Great White Way were expected considering the award-winning talent involved: Tony Award-nominated star John C. Reilly (True West), Obie Award-winning director Mark Brokaw (Lobby Hero), Tony Award-winning bookwriter Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams (Bye Bye Birdie, Applause) and Tony Award-winning choreographer Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie). "There will be some work on the piece before it's restaged and produced commercially, and that will happen some time in 2003," added Maso. The Broadway-bound show will be produced under the auspices of Jim Weissenbach and Waxman Williams Entertainment. Weissenbach originally acquired the rights from the Chayefsky family on the strength of the previously-attached star, Jason Alexander. Director Robert Longbottom (Flower Drum Song) and writer Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, "The West Wing") were also previously with the project.
Current star Reilly is expected to stay with the musical following its Boston run according to a production spokesperson. Reviews for Huntington's production of Marty all favor the actor who is known for his film work moreso than his singing. "I've spent more of my life doing theatre than I have doing film," said Reilly in an interview published in a Huntington newsletter. The thespian who grew up doing musicals such as Brigadoon, The Pajama Game, The King and I and Jesus Christ Superstar added, "But because my professional career has been mostly film, people know me from that. But I learned how to be an actor by doing musicals." Reilly, who took singing lessons in preparation for the role, will also show off his vocals in the upcoming film "Chicago" crooning "Mr. Cellophane."
The Huntington Theatre Company's world premiere production of the musical broke all previous advance sales records with a total of $154,471 in non-subscription tickets. That number does not include the over 16,000 subscribers already signed up for this season, according to a Huntington spokesperson.
For tickets or more information on Marty at the Huntington Theatre Company, 264 Huntington Avenue in Boston, MA, call the box office at (617) 266-0800. Also visit the website at www.huntingtontheater.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez