The musical was originally announced to star original film and Broadway leading lady Julie Andrews, but after numerous postponements due to Andrews' health, her Broadway understudy Anne Runolfsson was engaged to play Victoria Grant, the down-on-her-luck singer who conspires with equally bereft showman Carroll "Toddy" Todd to pass herself off as Victor, a female impersonator.
Initially Anthony Newley was set to play Toddy, both in Houston where the show is currently running, Theatre Under the Stars, and in Seattle. Shortly before the TUTS run, Newley, who is battling cancer, was forced to bow out.
Though Barry Williams (Greg of TV's Brady Bunch) stepped into the role for the Houston run, it will be Broadway's original Toddy, Tony Roberts, encoring the role at the 5th Avenue. Roberts just scored a hit as Buddy in the much praised. and possibly Broadway bound Paper Mill Playhouse revival of Follies, and is known for his extensive film work in many of Woody Allen's films, as well as starring in the Broadway musicals Promises, Promises and Sugar. Rounding out the starring roles are Michael Nouri, also in his Broadway role, as gangster King Marchand who falls hard for Victor/Victoria, and Tara O' Brien as Norma, King's jealous chorus-girl mistress, a role she also performed on Broadway during part of its the run there.
The production is directed by Mark S. Hoebee, who assisted Blake Edwards with the Broadway original. Dan Mojica is choreographer, with musical direction by John Mezzio. The show has new sets designed by Tony-winner Robin Wagner, and the Broadway costumes by Willa Kim. V/V previews July 7-8, opening July 9. Performances are at 8 PM Tues.-Sat. evenings, 7:30 PM Sunday evenings, with Sat.-Sun. matinees at 2 PM. For tickets ($18-$68) call Ticketmaster at (206)292-ARTS, or visit any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, or the 5th Avenue Theatre Boxoffice at 1308 5th Avenue, Mon.-Fri., 9:30 AM - 5 PM.
-- By David-Edward Hughes