"Roooosemaaarry..." crooned J. Pierrepont Finch in the classic How To Succeed in Business.... But Ponty's girlfriend may not be the last woman with that name to achieve musical theatre notoriety. Not if Blake Edwards has anything to say about it.
The co-author and director of Victor/Victoria has penned a new play titled Big Rosemary, which will have its world premiere try out Feb. 12-March 7, 1999 at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, New York. The show will have nine songs -- old tunes from the 1920s.
The prohibition-era gangster farce, to be directed by its author, tells of a mob boss in love with a nightclub singer. She loves a policeman, but when the mobster dies, he leaves her in charge of his crime empire.
Back in July 1998, producer Tony Adams confirmed that Cady Huffman (of Will Rogers Follies fame) has been involved with workshops on the piece, and she will, indeed, star in the Hayes Center tryout. Huffman received a Tony nomination for playing "Ziegfeld's Favorite" in The Will Rogers Follies. Other Broadway credits include La Cage aux Folles and Big Deal.
(Adams also contradicted a widely-circulated rumor that Edwards' wife, Julie Andrews, would take a supporting, non-singing role in Rosemary: There's no featured role for her even if she wanted to be in it.") Edwards is best known as a film director, with the Pink Panther series, 10, Mickey & Maude and S.O.B. among his credits.
For tickets ($22-$37) and information on Big Rosemary at the Helen Hayes PAC, call (914) 358-6333.
-- By David Lefkowitz