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, beginning May 28, made their names in two Burrows sitcoms, "Taxi" and "Cheers," respectively.
Henner and Perlman take over the Michele Lee and Valerie Harper roles, with Richard Kind stepping in as allergist husband of Perlman's Marjorie Taub and Chevi Colton playing Frieda, Marjorie's cranky mother. Charles Daniel Sandoval plays Mohammed, Marjorie's doorman and spiritual mate.
Manhattan Theatre Club artistic director Lynne Meadow directs.
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. Kind is known for TV's "Spin City."
Tony Roberts, Michele Lee and Valerie Harper packed their bags May 26 for a summer visit to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, June 18-Aug. 11, followed by a run at San Francisco' s Curran Theatre, after which Harper and Jana Robbins head out for a 40-week tour (beginning Sept. 10 in Denver). 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. Linda Lavin created the role of Marjorie, earning a Tony Award nomination for her work.
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).
After the national tour does its business, the Busch play is expected to be one of the most-produced plays in American regional theatre in the coming years, due to its small cast and comic nature.
Broadway tickets range $35-$75. For information, call (212) 239-6200.