Revival of Babes in Arms, with Rosie O'Donnell, Aiming for Broadway

News   Revival of Babes in Arms, with Rosie O'Donnell, Aiming for Broadway Randy Skinner, who received a 2009 Tony nomination for Best Choreography for Irving Berlin's White Christmas, will direct and choreograph a Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hart's 1937 musical Babes in Arms.
Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell Photo by Dana Fineman

Variety reports that actress and talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell will star in the production, which features a new book by Memphis's Joe DiPietro.

A reading, which co-starred Tony winner Shuler Hensley, was held in Manhattan last month. That reading was produced by Pat Addiss, Michael F. Mitri and Gerald Goehring. The latter told the industry paper that although there is currently no timeline, the producing team hopes to have a plan by the end of this summer.

This revised version of Babes in Arms, Variety states, would concern a chorine, played by O'Donnell, who "helps a group of kids put on a show in order to keep them from being sent to a workfarm."

Expect a cast of 15 and a single set, according to producer Goehring.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Babes in Arms score boasts such classics as "Where or When," "Babes in Arms," "I Wish I Were in Love Again," "My Funny Valentine," "Johnny One Note" and "The Lady Is a Tramp." Skinner and O'Donnell previously teamed for the City Center Encores! staging of No, No, Nanette.

Rosie O'Donnell made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease!, played a limited engagement as the Cat in the Hat in the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical, and portrayed Golde in the recent revival of Fiddler on the Roof. The performer also spent some time on the other side of the footlights as producer of the Broadway version of Boy George's Taboo.

O'Donnell rose to fame as a stand-up comic before landing roles in such films as "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "The Flintsones" and "Exit to Eden." Her Emmy-winning talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," ran from 1996 to 2001, and her more recent TV credits include appearances on "Will & Grace" and "Queer as Folk" as well as the made-for-television movie "Riding the Bus with My Sister" and the cable series "Nip/Tuck." She also spent a year as co-host of ABC-TV's "The View."

Randy Skinner was previously nominated for Best Choreography Tonys in 1993 for Ain't Broadway Grand and in 2001 for 42nd Street.

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