Now that The Producers is open and running like a locomotive, it seems that director-choreographer Susan Stroman has turns her full attention to casting Thou Shalt Not, the Harry Connick, Jr., musical that is her next project. Playbill On-Line reported May 1 that Kate Levering would play the title role, joining Craig Bierko, whose involvement had been already announced.
Now Norbert Butz has been added to the cast, reports Variety. He will play Camille, the husband of Levering's Therese Raquin. Bierko plays Therese's lover Laurent.
Butz was recently seen Off-Broadway as Amy Ryan's baby-stoning boyfriend in Edward Bond's Saved. He will soon open in Jason Robert Brown's new musical, The Last Five Years at the North Light Theatre in Chicago. He is also known for a stint as the emcee in Cabaret.
Thou Shalt Not is based on the novel "Therese Raquin" by Emile Zola. The production is scheduled to open sometime this fall on Broadway. Lincoln Center Theater produces. The book is written by Tommy Thompson. Stroman will direct and choreograph. Actress Debra Monk has gone on the record as being part of the cast.
Levering and Bierko co-starred in the Stroman-directed The Music Man, Levering as Zaneeta Shinn, Bierko as Prof. Harold Hill. Levering is currently starring as Peggy Sawyer in the Broadway revival of 42nd Street. *
Speaking at the 2000 Theatre Hall of Fame ceremony on Jan. 29, Monk said "Harry [Connick] is perfect for it. He has written a beautiful and wonderful score, and Tommy's book is lovely, so it's very exciting."
Monk added that, though the novel took place in the 1800's in Paris, the musical is set in the 1940's in New Orleans.
The show had a workshop at Lincoln Center Theatre on Sept. 18. LCT helped foster Stroman's last project, Contact, which went on to win the best musical Tony and is still playing at the Vivian Beaumont. Monk appeared in the workshop. Stroman and Monk worked together on Steel Pier.
First published serially under the title "Un Mariage d'Amour," Zola's harrowing tale of passion, hatred and the ultimate destruction that can come of lust was later published in 1867 as a novel. In "Therese Raquin," a sensual wife and her lover murder the woman's husband and remarry, only to be haunted by the victim's ghost.