By Matthew Blank
28 Mar 2012
Uggams plays Fauna, the proprietress of the Bear Flag Café, the local brothel, with Chase as Doc opposite Osnes' Suzy. The principal cast also features James Clow, James Moye, Steve Routman, Stephen Wallem and Tom Wopat.
The ensemble comprises Matthew Bauman, Jack Doyle, Lora Lee Gayer, James Harkness, Jessica Hershberg, Emily Hsu, Cara Kjellman, Denis Lambert, Analisa Leaming, Jay Lusteck, Linda Mugleston, Shannon M. O’Bryan, Monica L. Patton, Richard Pruitt, Vincent Rodriguez III, Kelly Sheehan, Martín Solá, Charlie Sutton, Nicholas Ward and Victor James Wisehart.
Marc Bruni directs the concert production with music direction by Rob Berman and choreography by Kelli Barclay.
Based on the novels "Cannery Row" and "Sweet Thursday" by John Steinbeck, Pipe Dream features music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The score includes the rarities "All at Once You Love Her," "The Next Time It Happens" and the ballad "Everybody's Got a Home but Me."
"Outcasts living by their wits populate the bordellos and flophouses of a 1950s California seaside town in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream," according to Encores! notes. "The show features many of Steinbeck's Cannery Row characters and tells the story of the romance between Doc (Will Chase), a marine biologist, and Suzy (Laura Osnes), a young woman who hitchhikes into town looking for a better life. Doc's friends include Mac (Tom Wopat), Hazel (Stephen Wallem) and Fauna (Leslie Uggams), the owner of the local brothel."
Pipe Dream opened at the Shubert Theatre on Nov. 30, 1955, and ran for 246 performances. It was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Read the recent Playbill.com feature about the history of the obscure show.
Encores! notes indicate that Pipe Dream "has been virtually absent from the American stage for more than two decades, owing to a technicality involving the underlying rights. The Encores! presentation will also include the first hearing of the newly restored Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations, meticulously reconstructed by the Rodgers & Hammerstein office."
New York City Center is located at West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. For tickets and additional information, call (212) 581-1212 or visit NYCityCenter.org.