Copacabana, the Barry Manilow musical based on the hit song of the same name, has reached the midpoint of its currently-announced tour dates, with few changes in scheduling or casting. Now in New Haven, the show will break briefly for the holidays (skipping a previously announced stop in Naples, FL) and resume, Jan. 8, in San Jose. Tour dates remain through mid-May 2001, with the possibility of some additional cities after that.
Gavin MacLeod, best known for his years on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," left the show in mid-November to spend more time with his family, according to a show spokesperson at TMG. Dale Radunz, who appeared in Can-Can at CT’s Goodspeed Opera House, took over as Sam Nov. 14. He joins continuing cast members Darcie Roberts (Dream), Franc D'Ambrosio (a six year San Francisco Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera), Terry Burrell, Philip Hernandez and Beth McVey.
Copa's U.S. premiere (it's already played London's West End as well as touring the UK for more than a year) began June 15-July 2 at Pittsburgh's Benedum Center. The remaining dates, which include stops in Denver, Las Vegas and Miami, follow (after New Haven, only run start dates are listed):
Dec. 4-17: New Haven, CT; Shubert Theatre
Dec. 26: Clearwater, FL; Ruth Eckerd Hall
Jan. 8, 2001: San Jose, CA; American Musical Theatre of San Jose
Jan. 29: Sacramento, CA; Sacramento Light Opera
Feb. 5: Palm Desert, CA; McCallum Theater
Feb. 12: Seattle, WA; Fifth Avenue Theater
Feb. 19: Pasadena, CA; Pasadena Civic Auditorium
Feb. 26: Salt Lake City, UT; Kingbury Hall
March 5: Denver, CO; Denver Center for the Arts
March 19: Las Vegas, NV; TBA
April 2: St. Louis, MO; Fox Theatre
April 9: Miami, FL; Jackie Gleason Theatre
April 16: Greenville, SC; Peace Center
April 23: Wilmington, DE; DuPont Theatre
May 7: Green Bay, WI; Weidner Center
May 14: Hartford, CT; The Bushnell
For tickets, contact the individual venues. *
Co-produced by Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and Dallas Summer Musicals, Copacabana will feature sets by Derek McLane (Honour), costumes by David C. Woolard (The Who's Tommy) and lighting by Donald Holder (The Lion King).
With a book by Manilow, Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman, music by Manilow and lyrics by Sussman and Feldman, Copacabana features such tunes as "Lola" (of course), "Bolero de Amor," "Who Am I Kidding?", "Changin' My Tune," "Sweet Heaven," "Who Needs to Dream?" and "Ay, Caramba!" Wayne Cilento, who won a Tony for choreographing The Who's Tommy and also directed and choreographed Dream, serves as Copa's choreographer, with David Warren Hurrah at Last directing.
Manilow, a Brooklyn native, sang such pop hits as "Weekend in New England" and "Mandy." He wrote a musical score for Off-Broadway's The Drunkard when he was 18. In 1994 he wrote the score for the Warner Brothers animated feature, Thumbelina. Sussman scored the Off- Broadway musical Miami (book by Wendy Wasserstein) and Ted Tally play, Coming Attractions. No recent word on Manilow and Sussman's other major musical project, Harmony, which received workshop readings with Brian d'Arcy James back in December 1998.
(Harmony, like Broadway's brief-lived Band in Berlin, is inspired by the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, six young men in 1920s Germany who rose from unemployed street musicians to become world-famous entertainers. While at the height of their fame, they played to sold-out shows in world-class concert halls, made a dozen films and sold millions of records. But the group's mixture of Jews and Gentiles inevitably led to clashes with the newly established Nazi party.
Harmony ran at CA's La Jolla Playhouse last fall. Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein starred in the CA production, wherein Manilow followed in the footsteps of Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett and other songwriters bringing their art to musical theatre.)
- By Christine Ehren
and David Lefkowitz