As previously announced, Mitchell will play the poet and rhyme seller who opens the show with "Rhymes Have I," and Mazzie will play Lalume, according to a production spokesperson. Mazzie and Mitchell have previously appeared together on Broadway in Ragtime, Man of La Mancha and Kiss Me, Kate.
The Kismet concert staging will play City Center Feb. 9-12, 2006.
A three-time Tony Award nominee for her performances in Kiss Me, Kate; Ragtime; and Passion, Marin Mazzie's other theatrical credits include Man of La Mancha, Into the Woods, Big River, The World Goes 'Round, the City Center Encores! production of Out of this World and Off-Broadway's The Trojan Women: A love Story, where she met husband Jason Danieley. Mazzie also starred in the London production of Kiss Me, Kate, where she earned an Olivier Award nomination for her work. She will soon be seen in the Actors' Fund of America's annual benefit concert, playing Lily Garland in On the Twentieth Century.
Lonny Price starred, directed and wrote the book for the Broadway musical A Class Act, earning a 2001 Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical. As an actor, he appeared in the Broadway productions of The Survivor, Merrily We Roll Along, "MASTER HAROLD"...and the boys, Rags, Broadway and Burn This. He wrote and directed Sally Marr... and her escorts, and his other Broadway directorial credits include Urban Cowboy and the revival of "MASTER HAROLD". He has also directed several musicals-in-concert starring Patti LuPone, including five Stephen Sondheim shows for the Ravinia Festival.
Kismet, originally billed as "a Musical Arabian Night" in 1953, is a rollicking and romantic look at Middle-Eastern life borrowing themes from the Russian composer Alexander Borodin. The book is by Charles Lederer and Luther Davis, drawn from a play by Edward Knoblock, with music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest (Grand Hotel, Song of Norway, Kean). The score includes "Stranger in Paradise," "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" and the raucous "Not Since Nineveh."
An M-G-M movie of "Kismet" (1955) starred Howard Keel (in tanning makeup), and a 1978 revision of it appeared on Broadway as Timbuktu, re setting the action in Africa (Eartha Kitt and Melba Moore starred). Co-songwriter Robert Wright died July 27 at age 90. Forrest predeceased him.
The 2006 Encores! season will also include John Kander and Fred Ebb's 70, Girls, 70, the short-lived 1971 Broadway musical starring frisky seniors.
The musical comedy about "old folks" and a heist caper, plays March 30-April 2, 2006. The libretto is by Ebb and Norman L. Martin, from the play Breath of Spring, by Peter Coke (adaptation by Joe Masteroff).
A third title to be announced will play May 11-15.
70, Girls, 70 originally featured a cast of seniors, including Mildred Natwick, Lillian Roth, Lillian Hayman and Hans Conried. David Burns died of a heart attack during the Philadelphia tryout. The Broadway run lasted 35 performances.
The 70, Girls, 70 score, which offers vaudeville-style turns mixed into a loose plot, includes "Home," "Go Visit Your Grandmother," "Do We?," "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup," "Old Folks," "Yes," "The Elephant Song," a title song, "Hit It, Lorraine" and more. In the conceit, the performers would turn to their musical director with the cue, "Hit it, Lorraine."
Kander and Ebb wrote songs for Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba, Woman of the Year, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Steel Pier, The Happy Time, The Rink, The Visit and more.
Subscription prices to all three productions in the Tony Award-honored Encores! series are $270 for the Orchestra, Grand Tier, and Mid-mezzanine; and $120 for the Rear Mezzanine and Front Gallery. Individual tickets prices are $90 (Orchestra, Grand Tier, Mid-mezzanine), $50 (Rear Mezzanine, Front Gallery) and $25 (Rear Gallery).
For more information, visit www.citycenter.org.