Bronson Pinchot, absent from Broadway's Putting It Together since Dec. 14, 1999, due to a torn calf muscle, returned to the revue of Stephen Sondheim songs Jan. 13, at the Barrymore Theatre.
From Jan. 4-12, Evan Pappas, late of Parade and My Favorite Year, played the Pinchot role in the tuner, which also stars Carol Burnett. Before that, standby David Engel (who also understudies John Barrowman) went on.
During Pinchot's absence, it was announced the show would close Feb. 20 due to the producer's inability to find a suitable star to replace Burnett.
Pinchot plays opposite Kathie Lee Gifford on Tuesday nights, when Gifford stands in for Burnett. Also in the company are Barrowman, George Hearn and Ruthie Henshall. Pinchot may be best known for the role of Balki in the popular TV series, "Perfect Strangers," and for his brief, pungent work in "Beverly Hills Cop." In Putting It Together, he sings "Buddy's Blues," "Everybody Ought To Have a Maid," "Bang!" and "Invocation and Instructions to the Audience," as well as group numbers.
The tuner, with more than 30 Sondheim songs in a conceptual, abstract cocktail party setting, opened Nov. 21, 1999. Previews began Oct. 30.
Bob Avian ( Miss Saigon) choreographs.
Putting It Together (which pulls its title from a song in Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park With George) has its roots in a 1992 English production devised by Sondheim and Julia McKenzie. She directed that version at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, England , and Cameron Mackintosh, who nurtured Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, produced.
The show had its New York City premiere in 1993 at Manhattan Theatre Club, by special arrangement with Mackintosh. Julie Andrews led a McKenzie-directed cast.
Now, Andrews' old pal, Burnett, is in the role of The Wife. The stock characters in the Broadway production are known as The Husband (Hearn), The Younger Man (Barrowman), The Younger Woman (Henshall) and The Observer (Pinchot).
This new production is an extension of an October-December 1998 staging seen at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. The creative team for the California run was the same, but John McCook played The Husband and Susan Egan ( Triumph of Love) was The Younger Woman.
The two-act Putting It Together includes 33 songs and an entr'acte (orchestrated by longtime Sondheim collaborator Jonathan Tunick). Shows represented include The Frogs, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins, the film "Dick Tracy" and the unproduced TV musical, "Do You Hear a Waltz?"
Putting Together together are designers Bob Crowley (set and costumes), Howard Harrison (lighting), Andrew Bruce and Mark Menard (sound). Burnett's costume is by Bob Mackie. Wendall K. Harrington provides projections. Paul Raiman is musical director.
For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Kenneth Jones