Tony Award winner and three-time nominee Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change, Play On!, Jelly's Last Jam) is joining two original cast members from the 1967 Disney movie musical, The Happiest Millionaire, in a pair of concert benefits for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
She will appear alongside the previously announced Lesley Ann Warren, who starred in the 1965 TV broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, and actor Joyce Bulifant (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Airplane!) who will be reprising their roles in the staged concert version of the film. Also planned for the concert: Broadway’s Dana Ivey, Brad Oscar, Nicholas Barasch, and Luca Padovan.
The 50th anniversary concert performances will take place at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in New York City at 7 and 9:30 PM December 3.
Warren will recreate her performance as Cordy Biddle, a headstrong young woman who struggles to find her own way in the household of her wealthy but eccentric father Anthony J. Biddle (played by two-time Tony nominee Brad Oscar) in 1916 Philadelphia. Bulifant played Rosemary in the film.
Pinkins will portray Mrs. Cordelia Biddle, Cordy’s wise and understanding mother. The production has also announced the addition of John Charles McLaughlin (The Irish Rep's Crackskull Row) as the Biddles’ Irish song-and-dance-man butler, and Cameron Bartell as Charlie Taylor, suitor to Cordy. Other cast members will be announced in the coming weeks.
Ivey (Sunday in the Park with George) is set to appear as Aunt Mary; two-time Tony Award nominee Oscar (The Producers, Something Rotten!) as eccentric amateur boxer and alligator collector Anthony J. Drexel Biddle; Barasch (She Loves Me) as love interest Angier Buchanan Duke; Padovan (School of Rock) as Livingston Biddle; plus Sam Poon (The King and I) as Tony Biddle.
The score was written by Richard and Robert Sherman, songwriters of Mary Poppins. The film also featured Tommy Steele, Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Geraldine Page, and John Davidson. It was the last Disney movie personally overseen by Walt Disney before his death.
Warren earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as a gangster’s moll in the 1982 Blake Edwards film Victor/Victoria. She made a handful of Broadway appearances, including creating the role of Snookie in 110 in the Shade. She has worked steadily through the years in film and TV, including a stint on Desperate Housewives. She won a Golden Globe award in 1977 for her performance in Harold Robbins’ 79 Park Avenue.
The Happiest Millionaire has been adapted to the concert stage by Doug Thompson and Alex Beck, from the screenplay by A.J. Carothers. The concert is being produced by Doug Thompson and Brice Corder with direction by Alex Beck, musical staging by Justin Henry and musical direction by Mark Hartman.
Joe's Pub is located at 425 Lafayette Street. VIP pre-sale ticket packages can be ordered via email at tickets@HappiestMillionaire.com. General ticket sales are now on sale at joespub.com.