Actress Valerie Wright, earning raves in the revival of Redhead at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam , CT, will leave the musical Nov. 8 to focus on preparation for her role as Dolly in the upcoming Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun.
Redhead composer Albert Hague told Playbill On-Line Oct. 29 he loved the new revival of the 1959 murder mystery musical, and Wright (who played Lola in the Jerry Lewis Damn Yankees tour) was one of the reasons it was so good. Wright was also in Broadway's Steel Pier.
Wright's standby, Cindy Robinson, will take over the role of Essie in Redhead Nov. 11. Robinson made her Broadway debut in 1988 as Little Red, Rapunzel and Snow White in Into the Woods. She also appeared in Peter Pan and Carousel on Broadway.
The rarely-revived murder mystery vehicle for Gwen Verdon, which won the 1959 Best Musical Tony Award, will continue through Dec. 13. Performances began Sept. 23.
Though Redhead won the Tony, the show has never been revived on Broadway, and rarely elsewhere. Verdon played Essie Whimple, a worker in a wax museum who tries to solve the murder of a local music hall dance while pursuing the man of her dreams (originally, Richard Kiley). The score, by Hague and Dorothy Fields, includes "Look Who's in Love," "Merely Marvelous," "I'll Try," "The Right Finger of My Left Hand," "Herbie Fitch's Twitch."
Other Hague scores include Plain and Fancy, Miss Moffat, Cafe Crown and TV's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." The book was written by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, Sidney Sheldon (the famous mystery novel author) and David Shaw.
Goodspeed's Redhead is directed by Christopher Ashley, who staged last season's Lucky in the Rain at Goodspeed.
The 22-member cast includes Timothy Warmen (Side Show) as Tom Baxter and Marilyn Cooper (Woman of the Year) and Carol Morley (Drop in the Bucket) as Essie's aunts, Maude and Sarah Simpson.
Rounding out the cast are Steve Pudenz, James Coyle, Eddie Korbich (Carousel) and Gary Gage.
For subscriptions and tickets to Redhead, call (860) 873-8668.