By Kenneth Jones
06 Aug 2004
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
When mother and son joined the hit show at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts May 7, it was thought to be the first time a mom and son played principal roles in a Broadway musical.
Cassidy continues as the forceful director through Jan. 2, 2005, when the production will end its popular run. Blair Ross, who got swell reviews in the national tour of 42nd Street, will replace Jones as aging diva Dorothy Brock beginning Aug. 10.
42nd Street won the 2001 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.
Ross most recently played Kay Thompson in the workshop Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Story, starring Leslie Uggams. Before that she starred as Dorothy Brock in the national tour of 42nd Street.
Jones' performance in the show marked her return to Broadway after an absence of 36 years. Jones and Cassidy were originally announced to appear for a limited time, to Aug. 1, but mama extended a week. Cassidy's father was the late Jack Cassidy.
Jones is the renowned ingenue of such films as "The Music Man," "Carousel" and "Oklahoma!" and earned a new generation of fans playing the mom on TV's "The Partridge Family" for four years. She recently told NY1 that the role killed her movie career but she doesn't regret the experience.
As Dorothy in 42nd Street, Jones gets to sing such choice Al Dubin-Harry Warren songs as "Shadow Waltz," "About a Quarter to Nine" and "I Only Have Eyes For You."
Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy have previously appeared together on stage — in The Sound of Music for the St. Louis MUNY in 1977. Jones played Maria to Cassidy's Rolf (with Sarah Jessica Parker playing Brigitta).
Shirley Jones returns to Broadway for the first time since 1968 when she appeared with her husband Jack Cassidy in Maggie Flynn. She made her Broadway debut in 1953 in Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific and then briefly playd in R&H's Me and Juliet. She won the Academy Award in 1960 for Best Supporting Actress for her role opposite Burt Lancaster in "Elmer Gantry."
Her other stage productions include Oklahoma! (Europe), The Beggar's Opera, Wait Until Dark, The Marriage Band, On A Clear Day..., Show Boat, The Sound of Music, Bittersweet, Love Letters and The King and I.
Patrick Cassidy recently appeared on Broadway in Aida (as well as the national tour for which he won the 2002 National Broadway Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Touring Musical), Annie Get Your Gun opposite Cheryl Ladd, Pirates of Penzance and Leader of the Pack. He originated the role of the Balladeer in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins at Playwrights Horizons and appeared in Lady in the Dark at City Center's Encores! He has a recurring role on TV's "Smallville" as Lana Lang's father.
The 42nd Street troupe includes Nadine Isenegger as Peggy Sawyer, Patti Mariano as Maggie Jones, Frank Root as Bert Barry, David Elder as Billy Lawlor, Brad Aspel as Andy Lee, Alana Salvatore as Anytime Annie, Richard Pruitt as Abner Dillon, Michael Dantuono as Pat Denning, Steve Luker as Mac, and Greg Beck as Oscar, the on-stage pianist.
The ensemble includes Will Armstrong, Kelli Barclay, Jeremy Benton, Becky Berstler, Sara Brians, Chris Clay, Michael Clowers, Maryam Myika Day, Alexander DeJong, Nikki Della Penta, Angie Everett, Kristen Gaetz, Melissa Giattino, Susan Haefner, Brad Hampton, Kolina Janneck, Sarah L. Johnson, Jennifer Jones, Amy F. Karlein, Regan Kays, Dontee Kiehn, Cara Kjellman, Jessica Kostival, Alison Levenberg, Gavin Lodge, Jennifer Marquardt, Tony Palomino, Wes Pope, Megan Schenck, Jennifer Leigh Schwerer, Eric Sciotto, Kelly Sheehan, Kristyn D. Smith, Vanessa Sonon, Erin Stoddard, Jonathan Taylor, Will Taylor, Elisa Van Duyne, Erika Vaughn, Mike Warshaw, Merrill West, Kevin B. Worley and Ericka Yang.
Tickets to 42nd Street are available by phone through Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100.