Producers of Sweet Smell of Success, the new musical, confirmed Sept. 5 what had been an open secret in recent weeks — the Martin Beck Theatre will be the venue for the show, opening in March 2002.
With Kiss Me, Kate's announced plan to close Dec. 30, the Sweet Smell team went public with the Beck as its destination. The new musical based on the Ernest Lehman novella and the blisteringly urban and urbane film, will play a tryout engagement beginning Dec. 23, 2001, at Chicago's Shubert Theatre prior to Broadway. The Chicago booking officially opens Jan. 13, 2002 and closes Jan. 27.
John Lithgow stars as the bullying and powerful gossip columnist JJ Hunsecker and Brian d'Arcy James is a toadying press agent. John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation) penned the libretto, Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) is the composer and Craig Carnelia (Is There Life After High School?) is the lyricist.
The preview start date and opening date have yet to be announced. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
Nicholas Hytner (Miss Saigon) directs, Christopher Wheeldon (New York City Ballet) choreographs. Designers are Bob Crowley (set), Natasha Karz (lighting) and Tony Meola (sound). Orchestrations are by William David Brohn. Producers are Clear Channel Entertainment, David Brown, Ernest Lehman, Marty Bell, Martin Richards, Roy Furman, Joan Cullman, and Bob and Harvey Weinstein. *
The original motion picture of Sweet Smell of Success was directed by Alexander Mackendrick and also starred Marty Milner, Sam Levene, Barbara Nichols, Susan Harrison, Joe Frisco and the Chico Hamilton Quintet.
The summer 2000 workshop of the new stage musical version also featured Joanna Glushak, Frank Vlastnik, Cleve Asbury, Michael McCormick, Bernard Dotson, Julio Augustin, Rachelle Rak, Kate Coffman, Mark Zimmerman, Colleen Hawks, Jamie Chandler-Toms, Roy Harcourt, Eric Michael Gillet, J.C. Montgomery, Shannon Lewis and Tobi Foster.