Peter Scolari, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Alice Playten Star in Off-Broadway Comedy It Must Be Him

News   Peter Scolari, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Alice Playten Star in Off-Broadway Comedy It Must Be Him Emmy Award nominee Peter Scolari will star as a down-on-his-luck TV comedy writer in the Off-Broadway premiere of the new comedy with music, It Must Be Him, featuring Tony Award nominees Jonathan C. Kaplan, Alice Playten, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, plus Liz Torres, John Treacy Egan and more.
Peter Scolari
Peter Scolari Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Producer Orin Wolf and Off the Aisle Productions are behind the new work by Kenny Solms, co-creator and writer of TV's "The Carol Burnett Show." Performances will begin Aug. 24 at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre (416 West 42nd Street).

Directed by Daniel Kutner, It Must Be Him will open on Sept. 1 for a limited engagement through Sept. 26.

Songs for the show are written by Ryan Cunningham (lyrics) and Broadway's Larry Grossman (music).

According to the producers, "In It Must Be Him, Louie Wexler (Scolari), a whiz kid comedy writer from the heyday of variety television, is now down on his luck. With his devoted agent (Egan), and his considerably less devoted housekeeper (Torres) by his side, Louie finds himself broke, lonely, and on the wrong side of middle age. Desperate to rekindle his fading career, save his posh Beverly Hills home and find the man of his dreams, Louie searches high and low for one last shot at his own real-life happy ending."

The cast features three-time Emmy Award nominee Scolari (of TV's "Bosom Buddies," Broadway's Hairspray, Sly Fox) and Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Torres, along with Patrick Cummings (Happiness), Tony Award nominee D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Harris Doran (Love Jerry), Ryan Duncan (Altar Boyz), Egan (The Producers), Tony nominee Kaplan (Falsettos), David Margulies (45 Seconds From Broadway), Tony Award nominee Playten (Henry, Sweet Henry), Edward Staudenmayer (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me) and Jessica Tyler Wright (Sweeney Todd). The creative team features Wendy Seyb (choreography), Court Watson (scenic design), Laurie Churba (costume design), Joel Silver (lighting design) and Duncan Edwards (sound design).

Playwright Solms began his career in New York, where he teamed up with New York University classmate Gail Parent to create revue material for Leonard Sillman's last Broadway revue, New Faces, and for New York's famed Upstairs at the Downstairs. After success with three comedy albums (including the spoof of the Luci Baines Johnson Wedding, "Our Wedding Album"), and a season of Steve Allen's "Comedy Hour," Solms co-created and wrote for "The Carol Burnett Show," for which he also received the Writer's Guild of America Award. He wrote for many TV specials, and penned the libretto to the musical, Lorelei, a version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Carol Channing, with new songs by Jule Styne and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. He collaborated with Gail Parent again on the screenplay for her novel "Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York" starring Roy Scheider and Jeannie Berlin. He also conceived and wrote Perfectly Frank, a Frank Loesser revue which played Los Angeles before its Broadway run. A year later, he produced it for Showtime starring Cloris Leachman. He wrote the book for What the World Needs Now, featuring the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, which had its world premiere at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, and has workshopped Ain't That a Kick in the Head, based on the songs of Sammy Cahn.

Director Kutner is currently the full-time associate director to Broadway's Harold Prince. Projects with Prince include LoveMusik by Alfred Uhry at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre on Broadway and the recent Paradise Found, a new musical by Richard Nelson, Ellen Fitzhugh, & Jonathan Tunick which premiered at London's Menier Chocolate Factory. He directed the world premiere of the Drama Desk-nominated Off-Broadway musical, I Love You Because.

Tickets, priced at $65, will be available beginning July 20 via www.ticketcentral.com and at (212) 279-4200, or in person at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre Box Office (416 West 42nd Street).

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Off The Aisle Productions, founded by Orin Wolf and David F. Schwartz, recently produced A View From the Bridge (Tony nomination), Groundswell (The New Group), and Assume the Position with Robert Wuhl. Other productions include Irving Berlin's I Love a Piano, History of the Word and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother Starring Judy Gold.

Wolf and Schwartz are founders of the theatrical booking agency OBB/Off Broadway Booking, which currently represents numerous titles (www.obbnyc.com). Wolf conceived History of the Word, which was presented at Crossroads and the Vineyard Theatre, and was awarded the T-Fellowship for Creative Producing at Columbia University in conjunction with Hal Prince. A partner with the boutique entertainment law firm Feldshon & Schwartz, Schwartz represents Broadway and Off-Broadway producers, talent and creatives, NYMF and clients in other fields including film, television, music and art. Orin and David are graduates of the Commercial Theatre Institute.

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