Five days after Susan Stroman took home two Tony Awards for The Producer, the director-choreography's next project has a home. The Harry Connick, Jr., musical Thou Shalt Not will play a limited run at the Plymouth Theatre from Sept. 20 to Jan. 6. Opening night is Oct. 25. The Plymouth will be vacated by Bells Are Ringing on June 10.
As previously reported, and now confirmed, Kate Levering will play the title role of Therese Raquin, Craig Bierko her lover Laurent and Norbert Butz her husband Camille. Debra Monk and Leo Burmester are also in 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.
Butz was recently seen Off-Broadway as Amy Ryan's baby-stoning boyfriend in Edward Bond's Saved. He is now 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. *
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.
She later told the Houston Chronicle, in July 2001, "It's a dark, lusty, unique piece," Monk said. "It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I know it will be extraordinary theater. Harry's score is amazing, full of 1940s blues and jazz. Besides writing the music and lyrics, he's telling us all a lot about New Orleans, which is his hometown, helping give the show the authentic New Orleans feel."
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.