Casting is now complete for the Red Bull Theater's Revelation Reading Series concert readings of The Country Wife, which will be presented June 18–19 at The Duke on 42nd Street (229 West 42nd Street).
Based on William Wycherley's play of the same name, the new musical is adapted by Richard Maltby Jr. with lyrics by Maltby Jr. and music by David Shire; the concerts also feature direction by Maltby Jr.
Newly announced for the performances are Andréa Burns, Bryan Terrell Clark, Bernard Dotson, Sydney James Harcourt, and Jeremy Morse; they join the previously reported Louis Butelli, Lilli Cooper, Ed Dixon, John Edwards, Carson Elrod, Kim Exum, Ann Harada, T. Oliver Reid, LaVon Fisher-Wilson, and Maria-Christina Oliveras. Brad Haak is the musical director.
“In this, the most deliciously bawdy of Restoration comedies,” press notes state, “a licentious London rake has been transformed into a Louisiana libertine—although what Harry Horner wants is still a piece of overripe fruit...or all of them. … The upper-class rake Harry Horner begins a campaign for seducing as many respectable ladies as possible and devises unique and hilarious way to do it. But his scheme gets derailed by the arrival of an inexperienced young ’country wife.’”
“Ever since creating Ain’t Misbehavin’, based on Fats Waller, I’ve been intrigued by the thought of doing an American version of a Restoration comedy—since they share the same comic sensibility," said Maltby in an earlier statement. "I wanted a setting where there was a culturally diverse population—and hit upon New Orleans, well before the Civil War, like 1840, when the Mississippi had just been opened, when businessmen were making fortunes, and acquiring trophy wives who they then neglected, and whose population was a bouillabaisse of French settlers, Southern aristocrats, American adventurers, French Acadians—the Cajuns—from Canada, Creoles, mulattos, educated refugees from the revolution in Haiti, and wealthy blacks who actually owned plantations—all brought together in this, the most European city in America—where the morals were high and the actions ignored them. The play I chose was the raunchiest of all the restoration comedies, The Country Wife, written by William Wycherley.”
Tickets are available at RedBullTheater.com or by phone at (212) 352-3101.
Check out a song from another recent Maltby-Shire musical, Sousatzka, below:
(Updated June 13, 2017)