Charles Busch-Rusty Magee Musical The Green Heart, With Kerry Butler and Craig Bierko, Explored in Reading

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08 Aug 2011

Kerry Butler
Kerry Butler
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A gaggle of Broadway musical-comedy stars — including Jackie Hoffman, Fred Applegate and Craig Bierko — will punctuate an Aug. 8-12 Manhattan reading of The Green Heart, the 1997 musical about greed and unexpected romance, with music and lyrics by the late Rusty Magee.

The Old Globe in San Diego is behind this exploration of the revised script. A private industry-only presentation takes place Aug. 12. Frequent Busch collaborator Carl Andress (The Divine Sister, Die Mommie Die!, Shanghai Moon) directs. (The previously reported Emily Skinner had to bow out due to a scheduling issue.)

The hybrid musical comedy-romance-thriller is based on the short story
"The Green Heart"
by Jack Ritchie. The story spawned the film "A New Leaf." It tells the tale of William Graham, a selfish onetime millionaire who seeks to marry a wealthy woman to support him and his mistress, Uta. He ends up falling in love with his quarry — heiress Henrietta, an eccentric professor of botany.

The workshop's musical director is John McDaniel (Catch Me If You Can). The cast also features Craig Bierko (The Music Man), Ashley Kate Adams, Heidi Blickenstaff (The Addams Family, [title of show]), Wade Elkins, Peter Marinos (The Producers, The Secret Garden), Tally Sessions (Yank!, 2011's House of Blue Leaves) and Mary Stout (Beauty and the Beast). Jackie Hoffman is currently playing Grandma in The Addams Family; Hairspray veteran Butler stars in Catch Me If You Can; Applegate starred in Broadway's Young Frankenstein, The Producers and the recent La Cage aux Folles and in Off-Broadway's Happiness.

 

Charles Busch
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN



This August reading of The Green Heart follows a Dec. 2, 2010, reading seen in the York Theatre Company's Developmental Reading Series Off-Broadway. That cast featured Ken Barnett, Heidi Blickenstaff, Wade Elkins, Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, Daniel Marcus, Peter Marinos, Marcy McGuigan, Beth Johnson Nicely, Tony nominee Nancy Opel, Tony nominee Christopher Sieber and Steven Strafford.

Reading or workshop casting does not necessarily reflect future casting, nor has a full production been announced.

The Green Heart was first produced Off-Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club at the Variety Arts Theatre. It played 30 performances in spring 1997.

Benjamin Rush "Rusty" Magee, a composer and lyricist also known for Scapin, Flurry Tale, Ubu Rock, 19th Street Shuffle and The Czar of Rock and Roll, among other works, died in 2003 after a battle with cancer. He was 47 and left behind his wife, the actress Alison Fraser, and a son, Nathaniel.