The postponement, according to the Kennedy Center, is due to "scheduling conflicts." A Jan. 5 Actors' Equity casting notice had stated, "Production and auditions have been cancelled."
The Washington Post reports that the cancellation occurred following director Ashley's withdrawal from the project earlier this week so that he could focus his attention on the now-Broadway-bound musical Leap of Faith. Kennedy Center president Michael M. Kaiser told the Washington paper, "We got a call [Thursday] morning at 10 that we lost a director. This wasn’t just a revival, it was with a book newly interpolated, and it was a collaboration with Chris. There was no way to resurrect it." Although no casting had been announced, a New York workshop featured Tony winner Audra McDonald and Anything Goes' Colin Donnell.
The revised version of the classic Rodgers and Hart musical was scheduled to play the Eisenhower June 2-July 1.
In its place, the Center will present First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb, which debuted at Signature Theatre in 2009. Directed by Eric Schaeffer and featuring a 19-piece orchestra and a cast of six, the musical revue celebrates the songwriting team who created Cabaret, Chicago and The Kiss of the Spider Woman. Each musical in John Kander and Fred Ebb’s five-decade partnership is included. The production will play the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater June 8-July 1. Casting will be announced at a later date.
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Pal Joey opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Christmas night 1940 with a cast that included Vivienne Segal and Gene Kelly. The Rodgers and Hart score boasts such tunes as "I Could Write a Book," "What Is a Man?," "Zip," "Pal Joey," "Happy Hunting Horn," "Chicago," "That Terrific Rainbow," "The Flower Garden of My Heart," "Den of Iniquity," "Plant You Now, Dig You Later," "Take Him" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." The most recent New York staging, presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company, starred Stockard Channing. The Kennedy Center-produced revival of Follies concludes its limited engagement Jan. 22 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre.