Roger Rees and Faith Prince will be supported by the capable likes of Ronn Carroll, Luther Creek, Michael McCormick, Jessica Molaskey, Martin Moran, Sally Murphy and Brandon Wardell in A Man of No Importance, the new musical which reunites the Ragtime crew of composer Stephen Flaherty, lyricist Lynn Ahrens and librettist Terrence McNally
The production bows Sept. 12 at the Off-Broadway Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. Opening is Oct. 10. The show received a reading at Lincoln Center Theater in March 2001. Joe Mantello directed and will repeat his duties this summer.
The show is based on the 1994 film of the same name. The movie, set in 1963 Dublin, starred Albert Finney as Alfie Byrne (Rees), a closeted gay bus driver with a passion for Oscar Wilde who still lives with his sister (Prince). The film concerns Alfie's torn passion for two people and his coming to terms with his true nature as he gets involved in a church staging of a Wilde play.
The title is a play on the Wilde work A Woman of No Importance.
Prince has been very busy of late. Following her Tony win for Guys and Dolls a decade ago, she was infrequently seen on the New York stage. But in the last couple years, she has been constantly employed in Manhattan. After a solo cabaret debut in early 2000 at Joe's Pub and a supporting turn in an Off Broadway revival of The Torchbearers, she returned to Broadway, replacing Blair Brown in James Joyce's The Dead. In early 2001, she headlined a revival of the musical, Bells Are Ringing. The production didn't last, but Prince received a Tony nomination for her work. She returned to Broadway in 2002 for the third season running in Noises Off, using her off-time to participate in a workshop of the new Disney musical When You Wish. A Man of No Importance will be Prince's first original musical credit, in which she originates a role, since 1991's Nick and Nora.
Though Rees has many Broadway credits to his name—Indiscretions, The Rehearsal, Uncle Vanya and, most famously, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby—he is not known for his musical theatre work. A native of England, he possesses a range a West End experience as well.
Murphy starred in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Carousel as Julie Jordan. Last season, she acted in Brutal Imagination at Off Broadway's Vineyard Theater. Ronn Carroll is currently starring in Oklahoma! on Broadway. A musical mainstay, his credits include Annie Get Your Gun, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Steel Pier and Crazy For You.
Moran starred opposite Prince in 2001's short-lived mounting of Bells Are Ringing, as well as How to Succeed.... Molaskey performed in Dream with her husband, John Pizzarelli. Creek was a cast member of Rent. McCormick was in Marie Christine. Warrell's credits include James Joyce's The Dead.
—By Robert Simonson