Nathan Lane will be playing Hubie Cram in the upcoming "Encores!" concert revival of Do Re Mi, the 1960 Jule Styne-Betty Comden-Adolph Green musical that begat "Make Someone Happy."
Lane will be Cram, the petty schemer whose show business dreams threaten his marriage (leading to a rare 11 o'clock number for a male character in a musical, "All of My Life").
Phil Silvers originated the role, opposite Nancy Walker.
The revival, which also features Randy Graff (City of Angels) in the Walker role and Stephen DeRosa (The Mystery of Irma Vep) as a gangster, plays City Center May 6-9. Additional casting has not been announced.
Lane, who made significant splashes Off-Broadway and on in The Lisbon Traviata, Guys and Dolls, Love! Valour! Compassion!, A Funny Thing Happened... and Mizlansky/Zilinsky, returns to New York in a plum role after his short-lived 1998-99 season TV series, Encore! Encore! -- not to be confused, of course, with "Encores!" John Rando will direct Do Re Mi, Randy Skinner (Ain't Broadway Grand) will choreograph and Paul Gemignani will guest conduct while "Encores!" musical director Rob Fisher opens the Amsterdam company of Chicago.
It's been a busy year for Rando. He recently staged David Ives' new work Lives of the Saints in Philadelphia and will return to New York in April to direct Peter Ackerman's new comedy Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight at the Promenade Theater. After finishing work on Do Re Mi, he will travel to Los Angeles Merton of the Movies at the Geffen Playhouse. He will then restage Saints at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Do Re Mi, which had a libretto by Garson Kanin (who died earlier this year), introduced "Make Someone Happy" to the world, sung by John Reardon and Nancy Dussault, who played sub-plot lovers in the show business satire (about the record industry). Stars Silvers and Walker played a low-rung show biz schlemiel and his long suffering wife.
Also in the score are "It's Legitimate," "I Know About Love," "The Late Late Show," "Fireworks" and "Adventure," a tour-de-force for Walker. In one number, a classic Comden-Green nightclub scene, Dussault was dressed as an animal, singing, "What's New At the Zoo."
The popular series at City Center in New York City revisits neglected or seldom-revived musical theatre scores and scripts in a conceptual concert form, often with big-name stage talent. The current Broadway revival of Chicago began as an "Encores!" presentation.
Earlier in 1999 "Encores!" presented The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 and Babes in Arms.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson