Never Gonna Dance, which has been in development for a number of years, was to start the season at California's Ahmanson before heading to Broadway. The producers announced the decision to come straight to Broadway as a theatre became available to them. Urban Cowboy — the Broadhurst's current tenant — has recently announced its closing of May 18.
Never Gonna Dance is based on the classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers 1936 RKO film, "Swing Time," featuring a score by Jerome Kern. Librettist Jeffrey Hatcher, director Michael Greif and choreographer Jerry Mitchell are all attached to the project.
Racey is currently appearing in Thoroughly Modern Millie. He has also been seen on Broadway in Follies, and at Encores! in Do Re Mi and Babes in Arms. Lemenager was last seen on Broadway in Kiss Me, Kate. Other credits include Dream, How to Succeed..., Guys and Dolls, and Meet Me in St. Louis.
The creative team of Never Gonna Dance features Robin Wagner (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes) and Paul Gallo (lighting). Casting and more creative team information will be announced shortly.
The songs of Kern featured in Never Gonna Dance boast lyrics by Dorothy Fields, Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein II, Johnny Mercer, Otto Harbach and Jimmy McHugh. Among the tunes are "Pick Yourself Up," "The Way You Look Tonight," "The Waltz in Swingtime," "A Fine Romance," "Bojangles of Harlem," "Never Gonna Dance," "I Won't Dance," "I'm Old Fashioned," "Dearly Beloved" and "Who." The Weissberger Theater Group/Jay Harris, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., James Walsh and Ted Hartley/RKO Pictures will produce Never Gonna Dance.
The show was workshopped in Manhattan Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2001, starring Racey in the Astaire role and Lemenager in the Rogers part. Producer Harris told Playbill On-Line (June, 2002) future productions will probably star the same two actors. Also featured in the workshop were Peter Bartlett as the owner of Penny's dance studio and David Pittu as bandleader Ricardo.
The story concerns John "Lucky" Garnett (Astaire), a hoofer who, in order to prove his worthiness to the father of the girl he wants to marry, goes to the city to earn his fortune. Once there, he meets Penny Carroll, a dancing instructor. They form a successful dancing act and fall in love. But their romance is threatened by the return of Lucky's old girl and the interference of Penny's admirer, the latin band leader Ricardo Romero.