Gary Griffin directed the new staging of the musical based on his 2005 New York City Center Encores! production. The revival for the Roundabout Theatre Company was rooted at Studio 54. The show began previews Nov. 29, 2006, and officially opened Dec. 14. Andy Blankenbuehler choreographed.
From the songwriting team of She Loves Me and Fiddler on the Roof, The Apple Tree features music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and a book by Bock and Harnick (with additional book material by Jerome Coopersmith). The musical is "a unique evening of three one-act musicals about men, women and a little thing called temptation" based on Mark Twain's "The Diary of Adam and Eve," Frank R. Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?" and Jules Feiffer's "Passionella."
Chenoweth reprised her Encores! turn in the central roles of Eve, Princess Barbara and Ella. James (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Lieutenant of Inishmore) appeared as Adam, Sanjar and Flip. Kudisch (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Assassin) took on the role of Snake. Charles (Woman in White, Big River) played King Arik, Employer and Producer.
A Tony Award winner for You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Chenoweth has also played on Broadway in Wicked, Steel Pier and Epic Proportions. She has recently taken to both the big and small screen in "The West Wing" and in the films "Bewitched," "The Pink Panther," "RV," "Running with Scissors," "Stranger Than Fiction" and "Deck the Halls."
The company also featured Meggie Cansler, Julie Connors, Sarah Jane Everman, Jennifer Taylor Farrell, Justin Keyes, Lorin Latarro, Mike McGowan, Sean Palmer, Eric Santagata and Dennis Stowe. The design team included John Lee Beatty (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Donald Holder (lights), Dan Moses Schreier (sound) and Charles LaPointe (hair and wigs). Rob Fisher provided musical direction and vocal/dance arrangements, and Jonathan Tunick handled orchestrations.
Bock and Harnick's The Apple Tree, which featured a Tony-winning performance by Barbara Harris, originally opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre in October 1966. Larry Blyden and Alan Alda also starred in the Mike Nichols staging, which was nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. (Revisit the original production with Playbill.com's Playbill Archives feature.)
Songs in the score include "Here in Eden," "Eve," "The Apple Tree (Forbidden Fruit)," "It's a Fish," "Go to Sleep Whatever You Are," "What Makes Me Love Him," "I'll Tell You A Truth," "Make Way," "I've Got What You Want," "Tiger, Tiger," "Oh, to Be a Movie Star," "Gorgeous,""(Who, Who, Who, Who) Who Is She?," "Wealth," and "You Are Not Real."
Next up at Studio 54 will be Roundabout's revival of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' musical 110 in the Shade starring Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (April 13-July 15), and lined up for next year is The Menier Chocolate Factory production of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George.
The Apple Tree performs at Studio 54, located at 254 West 54th Street. For more information, visit roundabouttheatre.org.