The actor — who recently appeared in a benefit concert presentation of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin opposite Charles Busch, Darius de Haas, Billy Porter and Julia Murney — has been offered a role in the new musical, according to his representative.
On Broadway, Mann has appeared in The Rocky Horror Show, Barnum, Cats, The Scarlet Pimpernel and his Tony Award-nominated turns in Les Misérables and Beauty and the Beast. Off-Broadway, he originated the role of Leon Czolgosz in Assassins and played in the Sept. 11 drama The Guys.
Written and directed by Don Scardino, the new musical is based on the songs of the late pop music icon, performer and songwriter John Lennon. Lennon is set for its world premiere at San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre (April 12-May 14) and then a stint at Boston's Colonial Theatre (May 31-June 25) before coming to Broadway July 7, 2005.
Producers Edgar Lansbury, Don Scardino and Allan McKeown in association with Clear Channel Entertainment present the work by arrangement with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. The legendary singer-songwriter's widow recently gave permission for the production to use three unpublished Lennon songs "India, India," "I Don't Want to Lose You" and "Cookin' (In the Kitchen of Love)."
The design team of Lennon includes John Arnone (scenic), Jane Greenwood (costumes) and Natasha Katz (lighting). Joe Malone provides choreography. No casting for the production has been officially announced. "I was after something that was very theatrical and that would, for the audience, really bring forward the real living idea of John Lennon," director Don Scardino previously told Playbill On-Line about his upcoming piece.
"The idea is basically as if an acting troupe walked on stage, unpacked their bags and said 'Tonight, we do John Lennon' just like the players in Hamlet [say] here's The Murder of Gonzago. Well, here's the murder of John Lennon, [or] the life of John Lennon. Doing so, the actors on stage all take up his voice and his time and be another facet of that personality and basically make up the measure of the man in the process, through the course of the evening. And ultimately, Lennon speaks himself at the end of the piece, by showing the 'Imagine' film."
Scardino posed that Lennon will tell the tale of more than just a musician: "He always seemed to be ahead of the curve. Or, by example, the curve followed him. He was such a leader for a certain generation, particularly, that he's emblematic of the times he came through."
Scardino summed up the concept as "not only how his life defined the times, but how the times defined him."
The musical will feature 10 actors portraying John Lennon at various stages in his life backed by an onstage 10-piece band. 27 songs from the substantial Lennon oeuvre will be featured in the musical, among them "Imagine," "Instant Karma," "Give Peace a Chance," "(Just Like) Starting Over," and "Whatever Gets You Through the Night."
Performance schedules and ticketing information for all venues will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.lennonthemusical.com.