Marty, the Musical, Closes Shop in Beantown, Nov. 24; Broadway Next

News   Marty, the Musical, Closes Shop in Beantown, Nov. 24; Broadway Next Marty, the musical version of the Paddy Chayefsky-penned 1955 film which finally made it to the stage at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company after several years of development, will close Nov. 24 as scheduled.

Marty, the musical version of the Paddy Chayefsky-penned 1955 film which finally made it to the stage at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company after several years of development, will close Nov. 24 as scheduled.

The world premiere new musical, which began at the Beantown venue Oct. 18, is expected to reach Broadway as early as Fall 2003, managing director Michael Maso previously told The Boston Globe.

"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 favored the actor who is better known for his film work 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."

Reilly, a Tony Award nominee for his double duty in True West, took on the title role as a loveless, ordinary Bronx butcher approaching middle-age, in Marty. Though pestered by his Italian mother to get married, he insists love isn't in his cards, until the night he meets Clara. Obie Award winning director Mark Brokaw (Lobby Hero) helmed the world premiere musical based on the Chayefsky screenplay, featuring book by Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) with music and lyrics by the Tony Award winning songwriting team of composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams (Bye Bye Birdie, Applause). Choreography is by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie). Orchestrations are by Don Sebesky and Larry Hochman. Eric Stern serves as musical director. The designers include Robert Jones (sets), Mark McCullough (lights), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Kurt Fischer (sound).

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 did not include the over 16,000 subscribers already signed up for this season, according to a Huntington spokesperson.

Marty also featured a cast that includes Michael Allosso, Barbara Andres, Frank Aronson, Jim Augustine, Jim Bracchitta, Bethany J. Cassidy, Tim Douglas, Jennifer Frankel, Kent French, Alexander Gemignani, Shannon Hammons, Cheryl McMahon, Robert Montano, Evan Pappas, Marilyn Pasekoff, Matt Ramsey, Joey Sorge, Anne Torsiglieri and Mark Walker.

The songlist includes "Marty," "Whaddya Feel Like Doin’?," "Saturday Night Girl," "Play the Game," "That Blue Suit," "Why Not You and Me?," "She Sees Who I Am," "Recessional," "Saturday Night Girl Reprise," "My Star," "Niente Da Fare," "What Else Could I Do?," "Almost," "Life is Sweet" and "Wish I Knew A Love Song."

For 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