Composer Tony Macaulay said in a statement, "The characters inhabit an intriguing, colorful world; rich in texture with a love story at its center…This production is not simply a revival. The show has three new songs in addition to original numbers that have been freshened up a bit…it's a brand new Windy City."
Jeff Award winner Marc Robin, a major player in Chicago, directs and choreographs the 1920s Chicago-set show. This is Robin's WST debut.
"Ace reporter Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson wants to do the impossible," according to production notes. "He has a new fiancée, a new job in the movie business and a new life waiting for him on the West Coast. All he has to do is quit the Chicago Examiner and leave his scheming editor, Walter Burns. Easier said than done, however, as the devious Burns won't let his top reporter go that easily. On Hildy's last day, the boys in the press room are awaiting news on Earl Williams, a mentally unhinged murderer who has a date with the executioner in the morning. Sensing one last big scoop, Hildy works feverishly to knock out one more story before his new life begins."
The musical by composer Tony Macaulay and lyricist-librettist Dick Vosburgh premiered on London's West End in 1982. The production is billed as having "additional material by Tony Macaulay."
Composer Macaulay has sold more than 52 million records worldwide. His hits include "Build Me Up, Buttercup," "Don't Give Up On Us Baby" and "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)." He has been honored by the British Film Academy as Songwriter of the Year. Macaulay has won the British Academy Award nine times. Librettist-lyricist Vosburgh is a New Jersey native who has become a well-known journalist, broadcaster and playwright. He has written for Bob Hope, Carol Channing and Peter Sellers, and has received two Tony nominations for his work on the 1980 Broadway production of A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine.
Newcomer Cristen Boyle plays Hildy's fiancée, Natalie Lewis. Also featured is Keith Gerchak, who plays the condemned criminal Earl Williams. Denise Whelan returns to the Walnut (The Thing About Men, Cats, La Vie en Bleu) as Molly Malloy, a hooker with a heart of gold. Bev Appleton, Maggie Anderson, Harold Barnard, Bill Bateman, Stephen Berger, David Brummel, Curt Dale Clark, Jeffrey Coon, Michael Daly, Kelley Faulkner, Lee Golden, William Hartery, Colleen Hazlett, Donna Ryan, Peter Schmitz, William Solo and Stuart Zagnit round out the company, with John Callaghan, Manny Carrera, Joe O'Brien and Kelly Jean Graham.
The creative team includes musical director Douglass G. Lutz; set designer Robert Kovach; lighting designer Paul Wonsek; costume designer Colleen Grady; sound designer Ryk Lewis.
Opening is Sept. 13. For tickets and information, call the Walnut Street Theatre's box office at (215) 574-3550 or by visit www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org.
Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster at (215) 336-1234 or online at Ticketmaster.
Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's dark Broadway comedy The Front Page (1928) inspired two film versions (1931, 1974), plus the screwball comedy "His Girl Friday" (in which Hildy was played by Rosalind Russell) as well as the picture "Switching Channels," with the story set in a 1980s TV newsroom.
For more information, visit www.walnutstreettheatre.org.