By Andrew Gans
30 Nov 2007
According to a press announcement, the musical, which features a score by Mary Poppins' Robert and Richard Sherman, is aiming for a Broadway debut during the 2008-2009 season with Tony winner Jim Dale set to star. Dale and his Barnum co-star, Glenn Close, had taken part in a one-night-only concert version of Busker Alley in November 2006 at the York Theatre.
Tony Walton will direct and design the musical. Richard Pilbrow will be the show's lighting designer. Although no theatre has been announced, the show's six producers include Margot Astrachan, Robert Blume, Kristine Lewis, Jamie Fox, Joanna Kerry and Heather Duke. Astrachan told Variety, "I knew when I read the script that we wanted to see it, but [the November 2006 performance] was everything we could have imagined."
Based on the 1938 British film "St. Martin's Lane," Busker Alley features music and lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman and a book by A J Carothers.
Busker Alley, according to press notes, concerns "a devil-may-care busker [one who entertains in public on London's famous streets], Charlie, no longer 'as young as he was,' [who] takes a gutsy, young sneak thief under his wing. He discovers her gift for music and performing and, with his tutelage, her talent blossoms along with his growing infatuation for her. Although Libby becomes part of the busker family, she wants more out of life. Her natural charm and drive feeds her need for 'being on the inside.' When she attracts the attention of a major West End producer, she leaves Charlie to follow her dream. She soon becomes a major stage, and after she unsuccessfully tries to introduce Charlie to her new world, Charlie comes to the realization that he and Libby belongs in different worlds."
The "Busker Alley" CD is available on iTunes or on the Jay Records website: www.jayrecords.com.