Neighbors of Broadway's Virginia Theatre might be calling the police this spring: The Wild Party will make noise there beginning April 6, 2000, according to a spokesperson for The Public Theater musical production.
Composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa and librettist George C. Wolfe authored the piece, which will be directed by Wolfe. No casting has been confirmed. The Public (George C. Wolfe, producer) and partnering producers Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind and Jujamcyn Theaters will mount the show.
Smokey Joe's Cafe is the current tenant of the Virginia. A closing date for the long-running revue has not been announced.
The musical adaptation of the infamous 1928 narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March will chronicle the booze-soaked antics at a debauched Jazz Age party populated by showfolk, underworld figures and slumming playboys. Still on board, as previously announced, are choreographer Joey McKneeley (The Life), scenic designer Robin Wagner (The Life, City of Angels, Angels in America), lighting designers Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Ragtime) and costume designer Toni-Leslie James (Footloose, Jelly's Last Jam, Angels in America).
It's a busy season for producers Berlind and Rudin. Berlind will also handle Kiss Me, Kate (with Roger Horchow) in October 1999, plus (with Rudin, Dodger Theatricals and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts) Stephen Sondheim's Wise Guys, also expected for Broadway in spring 2000.
The Public hosted a workshop of its version of the Joseph Moncure March verse story Feb. 15-25, 1999. The cast included Vanessa Williams, Mandy Patinkin, Eartha Kitt, Keith David (Jelly's Last Jam), Debbie Shapiro Gravitte (Jerome Robbins' Broadway), Jane Summerhays (Lend Me a Tenor, Me and My Girl) and an ensemble of nine.
Choreographer McKneeley was also present during the workshop, which culminated in a Feb. 26 reading.
A full Public production of the work, with a libretto and direction by George C. Wolfe, was previously planned for February 1999, but due to artists' schedules, was bumped to the 1999-2000 season.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Theatre Club has confirmed it will stage another world-premiere musical version of The Wild Party, by composer lyricist-librettist Andrew Lippa, beginning Jan. 25, 2000. Official opening is Feb. 22, 2000.
Casting has not been announced, but Gabriel Barre will direct and Mark Dendy will choreograph.