There's no business like show business -- as a new musical about 'the biz' is setting out to prove.
Walden and the Other Guy, a "musical mock-umentary" with music by Douglas J. Cohen and book and lyrics by Richard Samson and Michael Markowitz, is currently in workshop in New York under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee. On Feb. 27 there will be a reading of Walden for an invited audience.
The cast features Brian d'Arcy James (currently in Broadway's Titanic), Denny Dillon (My One and Only, TV's "Dream On"), Louise DuArt and Lee Wilkof (currently in Mizlansky/Zilinsky at Manhattan Theatre Club). Other cast members include Nancy Anderson, JoAnn Hunter, James Kall, Mark Kaplan, Jordan Leeds, Jerry Matz, Steve Routman and Cynthia Sophiea.
The musical director is Michael Lavine.
Cohen is best known for No Way to Treat a Lady; Samson, a former entertainment lawyer, is one of the producers of High Society, which began rehearsals Feb. 9 for a Broadway opening later this season. It's interesting to note that Walden actually started out as a film script, written by Samson and Markowitz in 1985. After a very successful reading of the "film" in the spring of 1997, however, the creative team decided to turn it into a musical instead.
When asked to describe the show, director Hoebee said, "Think Forbidden Broadway, with lots of thinly veiled references."
-- By Rebecca Paller