Pimpernel Is Off and Running in Dallas, to Aug. 8; Houston, Atlanta and Bway Next

News   Pimpernel Is Off and Running in Dallas, to Aug. 8; Houston, Atlanta and Bway Next
 
Ron Bohmer, Carolee Carmello and Marc Kudisch sang and swashbuckled for an audience for the first time July 27 in the leaner, reconsidered version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, at the Music Hall in Dallas.
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Ron Bohmer, Carolee Carmello and Marc Kudisch sang and swashbuckled for an audience for the first time July 27 in the leaner, reconsidered version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, at the Music Hall in Dallas.

The first of three stops on a pre-New York summer tour for the once-and-future Broadway tuner continues to Aug. 8 in Dallas. Since closing at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre May 30, the musical adventure has been recast with a company of 29 (rather than the previous 41) and has a slightly altered scenic design and staging, but no major changes to the score.

Summer dates include the Wortham Center in Houston Aug. 10-22 and the Fox Theatre in Atlanta Aug. 25-30. The New York reopening is Sept. 10 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

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Officially, the show is "resuming performances," not starting over at the Neil Simon. Although director Robert Longbottom is reapproaching the physical staging and casting with a fresh eye, and the cast of 29 is smaller than the version of the show that closed May 30 at the Minskoff Theatre, no major song sequences are being added or subtracted, according to a spokesperson for the show. Bohmer (who plays the title character) is a onetime Broadway Enjolras in Les Miserables, Kudisch (as villainous Chauvelin) appeared in High Society and as Birdie in a Tommy Tune tour of Bye Bye Birdie and Carmello (who plays the torn French actress, Marguerite) is a 1999 Tony Award nominee for playing Lucille Frank in Parade.

The musical is based on the romantic adventure novel by Baroness Orczy, which told of the British nobleman who, with his friends, travels to Revolution-era France to save the innocent.

The new cast includes David Cromwell, Harvey Evans, Peter Flynn, Russell Garrett, Drew Geraci, Danny Gurwin, Cynthia Leigh Heim, James Hindman, Emily Hsu, Alicia Irving, Elizabeth Ward Land, Ken Land, David Masenheimer, Kirk McDonald, Robb McKindles, Katie Nutt, Elizabeth O'Neill, Jessica Phillips, Terry Richmond, Laura Schutter, Matthew Shephard, Jennifer Smith, Stephonne Smith, David St. Louis, James Van Treuren and Charles West.

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The second Broadway version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, at the Minskoff, buckled its last swash May 30 to make way for the London musical, Saturday Night Fever.

The summer tour and Neil Simon return represents the third version of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Originally directed by Peter Hunt, the "musical adventure" opened at the Minskoff in fall 1997 to unenthusiastic reviews and ran a year. Radio City Entertainment, which had bought the production during its 1997-98 run, invested dough in having composer Wildhorn and lyricist-librettist Nan Knighton, along with new director-choreographer Longbottom, reimagine the piece.

The show was recast (keeping Tony Award-nominated Douglas Sills in the title role, adding Rachel York as the love interest Marguerite and Rex Smith as the villain, Chauvelin), remarketed and reopened at the Minskoff Oct. 10, 1998, earning better reviews from critics and audiences.

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For tickets to the Dallas engagement, call (214) 373-8000. For tickets to the Houston engagement call (800) 678-5440. For Atlanta ticket information, call (404) 249-6400.

For Neil Simon Pimpernel tickets, call (212) 307-4100.

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