The Williamstown Theatre Festival 2001 Main Stage season opener, One Mo' Time, may soon strut its stuff on Broadway. The Vernel Bagneris musical, a big hit Off-Broadway in 1979, ran in Williamstown June 20-July 1. Bagneris starred and directed.
Williamstown producer Michael Ritchie told Variety that a transfer to New York was likely, saying "a lot of producers have been up [here] to see it....everything is there in place to pull together. The timing is right."
One Mo' Time takes the audience back to New Orleans' Lyric Theatre on a steamy night in 1926. A cast of five — which also includes Rosalind Brown, B.J. Crosby, Wally Dunn and Roz Ryan — sing Charlestons, rags, cakewalks and other characteristic numbers of the time. Theatregoers should also expect a sampling of Bagneris' signature limber-limbed dancing.
One Mo' Time opened Off-Broadway at the Village Gate in 1979 and ran for three and a half years. The show eventually had runs in London, Australia and across the U.S. It also inspired a sequel, titled Further Mo'. Bagneris' other credits include Jelly Roll, The Life, Staggerlee and the film "Pennies from Heaven."
Williamstown habitually sees its offerings journey south to New York City. Past transfer successes include Arthur Miller's The Price and All My Sons and N. Richard Nash's The Rainmaker. This fall, the festival's production of Hedda Gabler, starring Kate Burton, will grace Broadway.