Tony Yazbeck, Clyde Alves, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Elizabeth Stanley, Jackie Hoffman Featured in Workshop of Broadway-Aimed On the Town

By Andrew Gans
20 Dec 2013

Tony Yazbeck
Tony Yazbeck
Photo by John Fortunato

A developmental dance lab workshop of the classic Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden-Adolph Green musical On the Town, directed by Tony winner John Rando and choreographed by Josh Bergasse, was presented to New York producers Dec. 19.

Playbill.com has learned that the workshop featured Tony Yazbeck as Gabey, Clyde Alves as Ozzie, Jay Armstrong Johnson as Chip, Alysha Umphress as Hildy and Elizabeth Stanley as Claire, who were all part of the recent Barrington Stage Company production of the musical. New for the workshop were Tiler Peck as Ivy Smith, Jackie Hoffman as Madame Dilly and Phillip Boykin.

As previously reported, an Actors Equity notice stated that a "Broadway production [of On the Town is] anticipated for early 2014." Producers are Howard and Janet Kagan.

Rando, who won the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for his staging of Urinetown, helmed the 2008 City Center Encores! production of On the Town, which featured choreography by Warren Carlyle. He and Bergasse were also responsible for a critically acclaimed mounting at the Barrington Stage Company in June.



Based on an idea by Jerome Robbins, On the Town features music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The musical opened at the Adelphi Theatre Dec. 28, 1944, directed by George Abbott with choreography by Jerome Robbins, and ran for 462 performances.

The most recent Broadway revival, in 1998, was directed by George C. Wolfe. The cast included Lea DeLaria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Robert Montano, Perry Laylon Ojeda and Mary Testa, among others.

"Set in wartime 1944," On the Town, according to previous press notes, "chronicles the adventures of three sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City. Their fabulous day-long journey is spurred by a search for sailor Gabey's dream girl, 'Miss Turnstiles.' Along the way, each sailor falls in love with a woman, and with New York City itself."