Television producer James Burrows is apparently casting the Broadway production of Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. The comedy's two new stars, Marilu Henner and Rhea Perlman, made their names in two Burrows sitcoms, "Taxi" and "Cheers," respectively.
Henner and Perlman will take over the Michele Lee and Valerie Harper roles beginning May 28.
Henner has appeared in the Broadway production of Chicago and tour of the recent revival of Annie Get Your Gun, for which she won positive notices. In addition to "Taxi," in which she played hopeful art dealer Elaine Nardo, Henner starred in the series "Evening Shade" and the film "L.A. Story." Before gaining fame on "Cheers" as the acerbic waitress Carla Tortelli, Perlman actually did a stint on "Taxi" playing the girlfriend of Danny DeVito's character, Louis DePalma. Devito and Perlman are married in real life.
Tony Roberts, Michele Lee and Valerie Harper will pack their bags May 26 for a summer visit to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, June 18-Aug. 11, followed by a run in San Francisco, after which Harper heads out for a 40-week tour. Harper has already been announced in some tour markets, including Boston and Hartford. Denver, Chicago and other cities have been announced.
No casting for the Roberts role on Broadway has been announced. The Charles Busch comedy about a depressed Manhattan wife (Perlman) and the childhood friend (Henner) who shakes up her life began at Off Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club in 1999-2000 and made a commercial transfer to become a Broadway hit.
Allergist's Wife continues at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, where it opened Nov. 2, 2000.
Producers are Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, artistic director; Barry Grove, executive producer), Carole Shorenstein Hays, Daryl Roth, Stuart Thompson and Douglas S. Cramer. Designers are Santo Loquasto (set), Ann Roth (costumes), Christopher Akerlind (lighting) and Bruce Ellman and Brian Ronan (sound).