Marty, the Charles Strouse-Lee Adams-Rupert Holmes musical which has been in development for several years, is expected to debut in a staging by the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston in 2002-2003.
A spokesperson for the not-for-profit Huntington confirmed the company is exploring the musical based on the Oscar-winning 1955 film as a choice for its 2002-2003 season. Tony Award nominated choreographer Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie) told Playbill On-Line he's choreographing Marty starring John C. Reilly in the title role under the direction of Mark Brokaw at the Huntington come fall 2002.
The show and the film focus on a homely, unassuming Bronx butcher who wins a new lease on life through an unexpected romance. Rupert Holmes pens the libretto.
Considering the talent involved, including Strouse and Adams, the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Bye Bye Birdie and Applause, the show is expected to have a commercial life after Boston if all the pieces fall together properly (which means if critics and audiences are encouraging).
Mark Brokaw directed Off-Broadway's Lobby Hero and is helming A Little Night Music this summer as part of the Kennedy Center's Sondheim Celebration. John C. Reilly appeared in the recent Broadway revival of True West. Previous readings included Anne Torsiglieri (playing love interest Clara) and Barbara Andres (playing Marty's mother). A New York City reading of the show was held Feb. 15.
In 2000, the show took on a new bookwriter in the person of Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood). Holmes replaced Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, television's "The West Wing" and "Sports Night"). Holmes told Playbill On-Line Feb. 1, 2002, that he did not adapt or rewrite Sorkin's script, but rather penned a new libretto from scratch.
Holmes said the musical will be combination of intimate and grand elements. "When 'Marty' won the Oscar," said Holmes, "Hollywood thought the only way to complete was to make things wider, bigger, better. They were trying to complete with TV. And along comes 'Marty,' a small story about a lonely butcher. I think to make [the story] into 'Marty!' with an exclamation mark, or have Marty vow to break the butchers' union, would be so inappropriate. [The musical is] about a character."
Still, the show will feature a couple moments of spectacle, including one scene where the lovers go to a ballroom to dance.
Robert Longbottom was previously attached to the project as director. He is currently busy with the Broadway-bound revised revival of Flower Drum Song.