Last summer in Westport, CT, they were Nicolette and Aucassin. Now they have Nothing in Common. They are, however, the same thing.
To put it another way, Peter Kellogg and David Friedman's new musical, Nicolette and Aucassin, which played at Westport Country Playhouse Aug.-Sept. 2000, went through a name change and is now officially titled, Nothing in Common. The "rose by any other name" theme is especially apt, since producer Kathleen Raitt likes to think of the musical as "Romeo and Juliet without the death."
Raitt told Playbill On-Line (March 6) the show was "a great success" at Westport and that she and co-producers Bill Haber, Joe Davis and Bill Suter are "formulating plans for next season. We've had a lot of offers, and we'll probably go out of town first. But we're trying to decide the best route."
The producers are currently searching for a director (Seth Barish staged the piece at Westport) for the ten-character tuner. Karma Camp will choreograph, and the producers hope Westport cast-members Bronson Pinchot, Chuck Cooper, Nancy Anderson and Richard White will remain with the project.
The all-in-rhyme musical comedy, with book and lyrics by Kellogg and music by Friedman, ended its run at the Westport Country Playhouse Sept. 9. Cooper won a Tony Award for his commanding performance as a merciless pimp in Cy Coleman's musical, The Life. He played King Mostansir is this musical take of a 12th-century French fable. Bronson Pinchot made a splash, critically and literally, in a Central Park production of A Winter's Tale. Also in the cast were Pinchot's Winter's Tale colleague Bill Buell, Jolson & Co. star and Drama Desk nominee Nancy K. Anderson, Jennifer Allen, Darlesia Cearcy (as Nicolette), James Judy, Jeremy Webb (as Aucassin), Richard White and Michael Wiggins.
Friedman told Playbill On-Line at the time that N&A had been workshopped in New York City but that the Westport staging represented the musical's first production. Friedman is well known in the musical theater, film and cabaret worlds. He is a former Broadway conductor and has also conducted and arranged the scores for many Disney animated films. Additionally, he penned many songs for the late cabaret singer Nancy LaMott. N&A is his first major musical as a composer.
--By David Lefkowitz
and Robert Simonson