The NYC reading of Marty, which had been set for Feb. 5, has been rescheduled. The Charles Strouse-Lee Adams-Rupert Holmes musical— which is based on the Oscar-winning 1955 film about a homely, unassuming Bronx butcher who wins a new lease on life through an unexpected romance—will now workshop on Feb. 15, Holmes confirmed.
Mark Brokaw takes over for Robert Longbottom, who had directed previous readings. According to Holmes, Longbottom had to bow out due to the demands made upon him by the Broadway-bound production of Flower Drum Song.
John C. Reilly, the True West star who headed a July 2001 reading, will again play the title role. His love interest, Clara, is played by Anne Torsiglieri, and Marty's mother is Barbara Andres.
Strouse told Playbill On-Line Jan. 28 that, if all goes well, this will be the final reading of the long-in-gestation Marty. The next step will be a pre-Broadway regional tryout. Strouse named Philadelphia and Boston as his preferred tryout towns, though he said the currently-popular Chicago was also a possibility.
In 2000, the show took on a new bookwriter in the person of Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood). Holmes replaced Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, television's "The West Wing" and "Sports Night"). Holmes told Playbill On-Line Feb. 1 that he did not adapt or rewrite Sorkin's script, but rather penned a new libretto from scratch. Holmes said the musical will be combination of intimate and grand elements. "When Marty won the Oscar," said Holmes, "Hollywood thought the only way to complete was to make things wider, bigger, better. They were trying to complete with TV. And along comes Marty, a small story about a lonely butcher. I think to make [the story] into `Marty!' with an exclamation mark, or have Marty vow to break the butchers' union, would be so inappropriate. [The musical is] about a character."
Still the show will feature a couple moments of spectacle, including one scene where the lovers go to a ballroom to dance.
—By Robert Simonson