The Grand Canal Meets The Great White Way: Banderas Nine Begins, March 21

News   The Grand Canal Meets The Great White Way: Banderas Nine Begins, March 21 The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Nine begins performances at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, March 21. The musical, which was originally scheduled to begin March 11, reset its start twice for theatre renovations.
(L-R) Mary Stuart Masterson, Laura Benanti, Chita Rivera, Antonio Banderas, Jane Krakowski, in rehearsal for the Roundabout Theatre Company's Nine
(L-R) Mary Stuart Masterson, Laura Benanti, Chita Rivera, Antonio Banderas, Jane Krakowski, in rehearsal for the Roundabout Theatre Company's Nine (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

The David Leveaux (The Real Thing) restaging of the Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit musical production will officially open on Broadway April 10 for a limited run through June 29.

Nine will feature Antonio Banderas as the musical's focal point, filmmaker Guido Contini. The lovers and collaborators in his life – all women — are played by a cast that includes Chita Rivera as Liliane La Fleur, Laura Benanti as Claudia, Jane Krakowski as Carla and Mary Stuart Masterson as Luisa.

Also in the ensemble are Nell Campbell as Lina Darling, Saundra Santiago as Stephanie Necrophorus, Deidre Goodwin as The Lady of the Spa, Mary Beth Peil as Guido's Mother, Mary Lucretia Taylor as Saraghina, Rachel deBenedet, Rona Figueroa, Sara Gettelfinger, Kristin Marks, Linda Mugleston, Elena Shaddow and Kathy Voytko.

Jonathan Butterell will choreograph and Kevin Stites serves as musical director. The design team includes Scott Pask (sets), Victoria Mortimer (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lights) and Jon Weston (sound).

Nine marks the Broadway musical debut for Antonio Banderas, who can be remembered for his moviemusical turn as Che in Evita opposite Madonna. Banderas is in experienced company, however, as Rivera returns to Broadway — last appearing in her Tony-winning turn in Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993. Benanti recently earned praise for her Cinderella in Into the Woods. Krakowski was last seen on Broadway in Once Upon a Mattress in 1996. Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Yeston spoke with Playbill On-Line (Oct. 2002) about Leveaux's resetting the show in the 1960s, around the time that the musical's source material — the Fellini film masterpiece, "8 1/2" — was released. "David Leveaux has completely reinterpreted it and redefined this piece. First of all, he's made it smaller by using 16 women instead of 21, and one boy instead of four boys. Being an Englishman with a great deal of experience in Europe, he has made it European in a way that the [original] American production was very American and highly stylized. He's made it a domestic drama about a marriage; I think [original director] Tommy [Tune] left him room to do that."

Yeston concluded, "I had my shot with Nine in 1982, and I could not have been happier at the time. Now it's David Leveaux's turn. This is his Nine."

The complete songlist for Nine includes "Overture Delle Donne,," "Spa Music," "Not Since Chaplin," "Guido’s Song," "Coda di Guido," "My Husband Makes Movies," "A Call From the Vatican," "Only With You," "The Script," "Folies Bergeres," "Nine," "Ti Voglio Bene/Be Italian," "The Bells of St. Sebastian," "A Man Like You/ Unusual Way" Duet, "The Grand Canal (Contini Submits/ The Grand Canal/ Every Girl in Venice/ Recitativo/ Amor/ Recitativo/ Only You/ Finale)," "Simple," "Be On Your Own," "Waltz di Guido," "I Can’t Make This Movie," "Getting Tall," "Reprise: My Husband Makes Movies/ Nine." The cast album will be recorded March 31, for the PS Classics label.

For tickets to Nine at the O'Neill, 230 West 49 St., call (212) 239-6200 or click here.

(L-R) Mary Stuart Masterson and Jane Krakowski, the cast of <i>Nine</i>, David Leveaux and Chita Rivera in rehearsal for the Roundabout Theatre Company's <i>Nine</i>
(L-R) Mary Stuart Masterson and Jane Krakowski, the cast of Nine, David Leveaux and Chita Rivera in rehearsal for the Roundabout Theatre Company's Nine (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)