New Broadway-Bound Workshop of Oh What a Lovely War Set for Sept. 26-27

News   New Broadway-Bound Workshop of Oh What a Lovely War Set for Sept. 26-27 Sharon Rosen will direct and produce a new workshop of the 1964 Joan Littlewood and Charles Chilton musical Oh What a Lovely War, Sept. 26-27.

The workshop will take place at the York Theatre Off-Broadway. The plan is to bring the show to Broadway during the 2006-07 season.

Broadway hasn't seen a production of the satirical show since David Merrick produced the British work in 1964 at the Broadhurst, where it played 125 performances and was nominated for four Tony Awards, winning for Victor Spinetti's featured performance.

Richard Attenborough turned the work into a film in 1969, casting Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Corin Redgrave, Michael Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Ian Holm and Susannah York.

Rosen intends to cast the show entirely with a baker's dozen of women, who will play the musical's 90 sundry roles.

"Casting entirely with women allows those that were left behind to tell the story," she said in a prepared statement. "The women will take on each character as written, which brings a great deal of humility, truth and irony to the piece." The show was first performed by Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal in 1963 and was her greatest success. A satirical chronicle of World War I, it tells the story of the conflict through parody songs and burlesque scenes, with the actors jumping from part to part. In the original production, the ensemble work Pierrot costumes while message periodically flashed the number of casualties.