Time and Again in 'Extensive Rewrites,' Seeking New Director

News   Time and Again in 'Extensive Rewrites,' Seeking New Director Though the musical Time and Again has postponed its Broadway opening from October 1996 to spring and possibly fall 1997, and has parted company with its director, a spokesman for the production said the project is still very much alive.

Though the musical Time and Again has postponed its Broadway opening from October 1996 to spring and possibly fall 1997, and has parted company with its director, a spokesman for the production said the project is still very much alive.

Based on the Jack Finney cult novel of the same title, Time and Again was to have been the first new musical of the 1996-97 Broadway season. But mixed reviews (strongly positive for Walter Edgar Kennon's score, mixed for the Jack Viertel's libretto) for a tryout production at Old Globe Theatre in San Diego prompted a cancellation of the Oct. 24, 1996 Broadway opening date.

Production spokesman John Wimbs said Jack O'Brien is no longer director of the show, and that a new director is being sought. He gave no further details.

Wimbs said the show is currently in the midst of "extensive rewrites" and is in the process of arranging a workshop production in New York for sometime this fall. Then, depending on the reaction, will go into rehearsals, or have a second workshop. Then, Wimbs said "We may open on Broadway in the spring [1997], or wait until fall, depending how things fall into place.

Complicating the matter is the availability of leads Rebecca Luker and Howard McGillin, both of whom the producers wish to retain.

Reviewing the Old Globe production, Laurie Winer, theatre critic of the Los Angeles Times, wrote, in part: "A brand-new musical, with an aching and beautifully understated score by Walter Edgar Kennon (orchestrated by Chris Walker). Plagued by second-act problems, the show . . . never reaches its clear potential, but Time and Again still offers the tantalizing promise of a great musical. "

Michael Phillips of the San Diego Tribute wrote, in part: "There's about half a good new American musical wound up inside Time and Again . . . Director Jack O'Brien's production is a lot more than half-good. Composer and lyricist Walter Edgar Kennon's lush, often fetching waltzes, cakewalks an ballads get a sensitive airing in the happily crowded Old Globe pit.

"Onstage the melodies, orchestrated with mellow acumen by Chris Walker, are likewise in good hands and voices, thanks primarily to Howard McGillin's Si Morley and Rebecca Luker's Julia. Luker's worth hearing in any circumstance; she's a subtly instinctive performer purveying one of the best, un-simpy sopranos in musical theatre today.

"Yet this time-traveling musical based on the late Jack Finney's 1970 novel remains an odd, curiously muted affair. . . "Time and Again hasn't settled on the right blend of romance, intrigue, sci-fi and Si-on-the-fly. . . "

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