Terrence Mann, Christine Baranski, Dick Latessa and newcomer Kerry O'Malley will appear opposite the previously announced Martin Short, in Promises, Promises, the second in this season's "Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert" March 20-23 at City Center.
The relatively unknown O'Malley was a surprise choice for the leading lady role, Fran Kubelik, an elevator operator (and executive's mistress). The role won a 1960 Oscar nomination for Shirley MacLaine and a 1969 Tony nomination for Jill O'Hara.
Another Tony-nominated role--Edward Winter's (the executive roue in Kubelik's life)--will be played by Terrence Mann, himself a frequent Tony nominee, having originated the Broadway roles of Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, Javert in Les Miz and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
This Burt Bacharach-Hal David-Neil Simon musicalization of Billy Wilder's film, The Apartment is being directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall.
Dick Latessa, whom Marshall choreographed through a spirited rendering of "[You Gotta Have] Heart" in the last Broadway revival of Damn Yankees, will played the astonished doctor who lives next door to Short. The character won Jack Kruschen an Oscar bid and A. Larry Haines a nomination for the Tony. In its original Broadway run, Promises, Promises was Tony-nominated for Best Musical, Best Director (the late Robert Moore) and Best Choreographer (the late Michael Bennett). It won Tonys for its star, Jerry Orbach, and for Best Supporting Actress: Marian Mercer, who played a barfly pick-up with a standout musical turn ("A Fact Can Be a Beautiful Thing"); Hope Holiday originated the role, Marge MacDougal, in the movie. It will be played in the Encores! production by a two-time Tony winner Christine Baranski, best-known of late as Cybill Shepherd's Emmy winning, heavily-boozing bosom-buddy, Maryanne Thorpe.
Jennifer Lewis, late of "The Preacher's Wife," will play the trouble-making secretary, Peggy Olson; SCTV's Eugene Levy will head up the contingent of philandering married executives, and Cynthia Onrubia will play the role originated by Baayork Lee.
Wilder, who won three Oscars for writing/producing/directing The Apartment, once said that he got the idea of the picture's plot from watching Brief Encounter and wondering about an incidental character--the guy who makes his pad available for Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, then returns too early.
In addition to the title song, the "Promises, Promises" score includes "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "Half as Big as Life," "Knowing When to Leave," "She Likes Basketball," "Where Can You Take a Girl?," "Whoever You Are" and "Our Little Secret."
-- By Harry Haun