Sources as diverse as Stephen Sondheim's unofficial web page, Theatrical Index and Playbill On-Line users who are close to the production are reporting, without attribution, that Sondheim's new musical, Wise Guys, is postponing its planned June world premiere there for at least six months.
Accounts say the production, which originally was to have opened at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this past fall, and then was rescheduled for June 1997, will again be postponed, this time into the middle of the 1997-98 Kennedy Center season.
The just published Winter 1997 issue of The Sondheim Review magazine has an interview with the show's librettist, John Weidman, about the show and includes the following info on the timing of the production: "Weidman said that, at present, the schedule is for a reading in February, a workshop production in the late spring and a full production in the fall of 1997.The ultimate goal, however, is to move the show to Broadway."
However, official word from the Kennedy Center is that the production is still scheduled to open at the Center's Eisenhower Theatre June 30, 1997. Kennedy Center spokesperson Tiki Davies said "we still haven't made any changes" to the schedule.
Another spokesperson, Catherine Alexander, did leave the door open for a postponement. She said Kennedy Center President Lawrence Wilker is scheduled to meet with Sondheim the first week in February to check on the progress of the musical, and to confirm whether the June date was still a go. The Wilker-Sondheim meeting had originally been planned for mid January. Queried by Playbill On-Line in mid December, Sondheim said the project was still on track; that Act II was finished and that work on Act I was underway.
A spokesperson for Sondheim's press agent, Flora Roberts, also said the show is still officially scheduled to go into rehearsals in June.
-- By Robert Viagas