Marty, the Charles Strouse-Lee Adams musical of the Oscar winning 1955 film about a homely, unassuming Bronx butcher who gets a new lease on life through an unexpected romance, will get a closed-doors reading in New York City, Aug. 1. The new reading of the piece will take place at The Dramatist's Guild in New York City.
Included in the estimable cast are: Carol Lawrence in the role of Marty's mother; Josie de Guzman (Guys and Dolls) as Clara, the shy girl who displays faith in Marty; Stephen DeRosa (The Man Who Came to Dinner) as Angie, Marty's best friend; Robert Sella (Side Man) as Leo, one of Marty's cronies; Meryl Louise as Aunt Katherine; Janet Metz as Virginia; Mark Lotito and Michael Mastro (Side Man) as other chums of Marty; Danny Burstein as Thomas, Marty's cousin; and Farah Alvin.
"Seinfeld" actor Jason Alexander, long connected to the project, is still involved, but will not take part in the reading. Instead, he will examine the musical from the audience. Playing the title role is unknown, Jordan Gelber, discovered by a casting director at New York University. Gelber recently appeared in Camelot at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
The reading is not intended for backers, producer James Weissenbach told Playbill On-Line, but is a private affair for the benefit of the creative team. "It's for the production staff to hear the material," said Weissenbach. "I mean, Charles' [singing] is great, but it's such a delicate show, we want to hear real singers sing it."
The show recently took on a new bookwriter in the person of Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood). Holmes replaces Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, television's "The West Wing" and "Sports Night"). The change in personnel necessitated some rewriting. Composer Strouse and lyricist Adams are best known for the 1961 Tony winning Best Musical, Bye Bye Birdie. They also collaborated on Golden Boy, All-American and Applause. Strouse is also famous for his Annie score.
On screen, the movie earned Oscars for Ernest Borgnine, who played Marty, screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, and director Delbert Mann. It also won the Best Picture prize.
--By Robert Simonson