Actor-model Brooke Shields is the latest addition to a pair of New York City concerts of the 1967 Disney movie musical The Happiest Millionaire, benefits for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Shields, who has starred in Broadway’s The Addams Family, Wonderful Town, and other shows, will appear alongside the film's original stars Lesley Ann Warren and Joyce Bulifant (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Airplane!). Also planned for the concert: Tony Award winner and three-time nominee Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change) and Broadway’s Dana Ivey, Brad Oscar, Nicholas Barasch, Sam Poon, Cherish Myers, Luca Padovan, and others.
The 50th anniversary concert performances will take place at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in Manhattan at 7 and 9:30 PM December 3.
Warren will recreate her performance as Cordy Biddle, a headstrong young woman who struggles to find her own way in the household of her wealthy but eccentric father Anthony J. Biddle (played by two-time Tony nominee Brad Oscar) in 1916 Philadelphia. Bulifant played Rosemary in the film.
Shields will portray Mrs. Sarah Duke (of Duke University fame), the elegant and charmingly overbearing mother of Angier Duke, played by Barasch (She Loves Me) as love interest Angier Buchanan Duke. Pinkins will portray Mrs. Cordelia Biddle, Cordy’s wise and understanding mother. The production will also feature John Charles McLaughlin (The Irish Rep’s Crackskull Row) as the Biddles’ Irish song-and-dance-man butler, and Cameron Bartell as Charlie Taylor, suitor to Cordy.
Ivey (Sunday in the Park with George) is set to appear as Aunt Mary; two-time Tony Award nominee Oscar (The Producers, Something Rotten!) as eccentric amateur boxer and alligator collector Anthony J. Drexel Biddle; Padovan (School of Rock) as Livingston Biddle; plus Poon (The King and I) as Tony Biddle.
The score was written by Richard and Robert Sherman, songwriters of Mary Poppins. The film also featured Tommy Steele, Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Geraldine Page, and John Davidson. It was the last Disney movie personally overseen by Walt Disney before his death.
The Happiest Millionaire has been adapted to the concert stage by Doug Thompson and Alex Beck, from the screenplay by A.J. Carothers. The concert is being produced by Doug Thompson and Brice Corder with direction by Alex Beck, musical staging by Justin Henry and musical direction by Mark Hartman.