Wonderful Town Cancels Nov. 6 Performance

News   Wonderful Town Cancels Nov. 6 Performance The new revival of Wonderful Town — starring Donna Murphy — has canceled its Nov. 6 performance.
Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Two-time Tony Award winner Murphy has been advised by her physician not to perform. Producers Roger Berlind and Barry and Fran Weissler said in a statement, "Despite the enthusiastic response to our first two previews, we felt it prudent to ensure the health of our star and look forward to reopening as soon as possible. We regret this inconvenience and will do everything possible to accommodate the theatre patrons who hold tickets for tonight's performance."

Wonderful Town began previews Nov. 5 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and will officially open Nov. 23. The production marks the first Broadway revival of the 1953 Bernstein-Comden-Green musical and the Broadway directorial debut of choreographer Kathleen Marshall.

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Marshall and Murphy first tackled the piece in May 2000 at City Center, as an Encores! concert production. "We decided to leave the orchestra on stage, because Leonard Bernstein's score is one of the stars of the show," said Marshall, who also choreographs the show. "And, to me, Leonard Bernstein's music is New York. We really wanted to leave that front and center as one of the city's showcases. John Lee Beatty has built a beautiful, representational set, where the orchestra is part of a cityscape and things float in and around the players. The apartment floats in around them, and windows and things like that. But you always have their presence, which I love, because they represent the energy of New York."

Murphy plays Ruth Sherwood to Jennifer Westfeldt's sister Eileen. Gregg Edelman is jaded editor Robert Baker. Also in the cast are Nancy Anderson, Randy Danson, Peter Benson, Michael McGrath, David Margulies, Raymond Jaramillo McLeod, Stanley Wayne Mathis and Timothy Shew. A Class Act star Anderson will play Helen; Danson (Pericles) will be Mrs. Wade; Benson (Picasso at the Lapin Agile) is Frank Lippincott; McGrath (Little Me) is Chick Clark; Margulies (45 Seconds from Broadway) plays Appopolous; McLeod (Dance of the Vampires) portrays Wreck; Mathis (Kiss Me, Kate) is Speedy Valenti; and Shew (The Scarlet Pimpernel) is Officer Lonigan.

In the ensemble are Ken Barnett, Joyce Chittick, Susan Derry, Randy Donaldson, David Eggers, Rick Faugno, Stephanie Fredricks, Lorin Latarro, Lisa Mayer, Linda Mugleston, Tina Ou, Vince Pesce, Mark Price, Devin Richards, Angela Robinson, Matthew Shepherd, Megan Sikora, JD Webster and Ray Wills.

Discussing the show's chances on Broadway, Edelman said, "I think, for many years, it was a great show at the wrong time. Now it's a great show at the right time. For a long while, we had all British musicals and serious epics. Now, we're moving away from that and I think people want to go to the theatre to enjoy themselves. And Wonderful Town is fun and entertaining and witty."

Tickets for the Broadway revival are now on sale. Interested parties should call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.