To celebrate its new five-story building on West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons will offer a weekend of concert performances of four of its biggest hits in January 2003.
Playbill On-Line broke the news of a reading of William Finn's Falsettos last week. Now added to the line-up, according to the New York Times, are readings of Laughing Wild by Christopher Durang, Violet, the musical by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley, and Floyd Collins, the musical by Tina Landau and Adam Guettel.
The original cast of Falsettos — led by Alison Fraser, Michael Rupert and Chip Zien — will take part in the reunion concert. Actress-singer Fraser confirmed the news to Playbill On-Line Oct. 25, adding, "It will be loads of fun to revisit the material, especially now that I actually have a 12-year-old boy." Fraser portrayed Trina, wife of Marvin and mother of Jason, in the Finn musical — the second of the Falsettos trilogy that also includes In Trousers and Falsettoland.
March of the Falsettos premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 1981 under the direction of James Lapine. The original cast included Michael Rupert as Marvin; Alison Fraser as Trina, his ex-wife; James Kushner as Jason, his son; Stephen Bogardus as Whizzer Brown, his lover; and Chip Zien as Mendel, his psychiatrist. The creative team comprised Douglas Stein (sets), Maureen Connor (costumes), Frances Aronson (lighting) and Michael Starobin (orchestrations and musical direction). Among the song titles are "Four Jews in a Room Bitching," "The Thrill of First Love," "My Father's a Homo," "Trina's Song," "The Games I Play," "I Never Wanted to Love You" and "Father to Son."
March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland were later combined to form the two-act Falsettos, which premiered at Broadway's John Golden Theatre in April 1992. Rupert, Zien and Bogardus reprised their Off-Broadway roles, and the cast also included Barbara Walsh (Trina), Jonathan Kaplan (Jason) and Carolee Carmello and Heather Mac Rae as the "lesbians from next door." The musical won a Best Score Tony for William Finn, a Best Book Tony for Finn and Lapine and was also nominated for Best Musical. Playwrights Horizons' new five-story building, with a large main lobby, two rehearsal spaces, offices for artistic, production and administrative staff and the Ticket Central box office, will be located at 416 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues.
—By Andrew Gans