Could Marin Mazzie Star as Helen Sinclair in Bullets Over Broadway?
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie will play the role of demanding actress Helen Sinclair in the upcoming lab of Woody Allen's Broadway musical Bullets Over Broadway, according to the New York Post.
Mazzie, who has appeared on Broadway in Passion, Ragtime, Next to Normal and Kiss Me, Kate, was part of a summer reading of Bullets Over Broadway and will again play the role of Sinclair in the fall lab.
Partial principal casting for the Broadway production had previously been announced; however, casting for the coveted leading female role was not revealed. Dianne Wiest originated the role in the 1994 film, earning an Academy Award for her performance.
Patti LuPone previously told Playbill.com columnist Seth Rudetsky that she auditioned for the musical adaptation of Bullets, but was not offered the part. The Post also reports that actresses including Tony winners Bernadette Peters and Betty Buckley also auditioned to play the role.
The Post indicates that Mazzie may nab the part when Bullets Over Broadway begins Broadway performances March 11, 2014. It will officially open April 10 at the St. James Theatre. Letty Aronson and Julian Schlossberg are producing the musical.
Five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (Big Fish, The Scottsboro Boys, The Producers, Contact) directs and choreographs the musical that has been adapted by Allen from his 1994 film, which he co-wrote with Douglas McGrath. The musical incorporates pre-existing songs from the 1920's and 1930's for its score.
Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Zach Braff ("Scrubs," "Garden State") makes his Broadway debut as playwright David Shayne, with Brooks Ashmanskas (Promises, Promises; Present Laughter) as Warner Purcell, Betsy Wolfe (Last Five Years, Drood) as Ellen, Lenny Wolpe (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Julian Marx, Hélene Yorke (Grease) as Olive Neal and "Sopranos" actor Vincent Pastore as gangster Nick Valenti.
The design team includes Tony Award winners Santo Loquasto (scenic design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Glen Kelly (musical arrangements and supervision), Doug Besterman (orchestrations) and Peter Hylenski (sound design).
"Bullets Over Broadway" centers on an aspiring playwright who finds out that his play God of Our Fathers is getting the Broadway treatment thanks to a wealthy gangster who has taken a sudden interest in producing. The only snag is that his dim-witted moll has to star in one of the leading roles. Thrown into the mix are a mafia thug with a real knack for playwrighting and a theatrical grand dame who gives Norma Desmond a run for her money.
The original film also starred John Cusack as playwright David Shayne, Chaz Palminteri as mobster Cheech and Jennifer Tilly as mob doll Olive Neal. Allen's screenplay was Oscar-nominated.
Allen's numerous films include "Blue Jasmine," "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Husbands and Wives," "Love and Death," "Stardust Memories," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and many more (about one a year since the 1970s). His plays include Don't Drink the Water (1966), Death Knocks (1968), Play It Again, Sam (1969), Death (1975), God (1975), The Query (1976), My Apology (1980), The Floating Light Bulb (1981), Death Defying Acts (1995), Writer's Block (2003) and A Second Hand Memory (2004).
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