The Robber Bridegroom, the sexy and comical Robert Waldman-Alfred Uhry musical set in mythical Mississippi, is attracting renewed interest among theatrical producers.
"There is somebody who's interested in it," Uhry said in a Oct. 10 interview with Playbill On-Line. "There have always been stock and amateur productions right through these 25 years, but there's never been a full scale [revival], and people are talking about it now." Uhry did not mention any definite plans and any possible staging of the musical appears to be in its early stages.
The Robber Bridegroom, which is based on a Eudora Welty novella, had a 1974 staging at St. Clement's Church, courtesy of Musical Theatre Workshop. The following year, a touring production by the Acting Company played briefly at Broadway's Harkness Theatre. A young Kevin Kline played the romantic bandit Jamie Lockhart and pre-Evita Patti LuPone was Rosamund Musgrove, who falls prey to Jamie's charms. LuPone and Uhry were nominated for Tony Awards.
The musical returned to Broadway for a longer run during the 1976-77 season. Gerald Freedman again directed, but the cast had changed. Barry Bostwick was now Jamie and Rhonda Coullet played Rosamund. This time, Bostwick was nominated for a Tony and won.
The score of Robber Bridegroom features such songs as "Two Heads," "Pricklepear Bloom," "Nothin' Up," "Sleepy Man" and "Once Upon a Natchez Trace." Uhry would not write another original musical until 1998's Parade. In between, he wrote the award-winning plays Driving Miss Daisy and The Last Night of Ballyhoo. He currently has two new plays bound for New York, Without Walls, which premiered last summer at Williamstown, and Edgardo Mine, which debuts at Hartford Stage later this month.
Composer Waldman and lyricist Uhry previously collaborated on a 1968 musical version of "East of Eden" called Here's Where I Belong, which had a book by Terrence McNally. It played one night on Broadway.
—By Robert Simonson