The Broadway-bound The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, a new musical conceived by Mark Lamos and Mel Marvin, will begin its journey East at the Arizona Theatre Company, where it will play first at ACT's Tucson stage Dec. 5-27, then at the company's Phoenix location, Jan. 1-24, 1999. Mark Lamos will direct.
Lamos first staged Fascinating Rhythm in 1997 at Hartford Stage, where he was for many years artistic director. The show is a musical tribute to George and Ira Gershwin and features dozens of their songs, including "Lady Be Good," "The Man I Love," "I Got Rhythm," and "Someone to Watch Over Me." George Gershwin's centennial is on Sept. 26.
Producer Manny Kladitis told Playbill On-Line (Feb. 26) that the show would have a brief tour before arriving on Broadway in 1999. Kladitis did not return a phone call regarding the show's current Broadway plans.
In other ATC news, the 1998-99 season will begin with Steve Martin's comedy Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Tucson: Sept. 12-Oct. 3; Phoenix: Oct. 8-24). ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein will direct. Next, Circle Repertory Theatre founder Marshall W. Mason climbs one of the Everests of American theatre, O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (Tucson: Oct. 17-Nov. 7; Phoenix: Nov. 12-28). No casting has been announced for the project.
Fascinating Rhythm follows. Then comes Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky (Tucson: Jan 9-30, 1999; Phoenix: Feb. 4-20, 1999), a co-production with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Tim Bond will direct the tale of two faded stars of the Harlem Renaissance. The season concludes with two recent New York attractions, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Paula Vogel drama How I Learned to Drive (Tucson: Feb. 27-Mar. 20, 1999; Phoenix: Mar. 25-Apr. 10, 1999) and Alfred Uhry's Tony Award winner The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Tucson: Apr. 10-May 1, 1999; May 6-22, 1999). No directors have been selected for the final two productions. ATC performs at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson and the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. For ticket information, call (520) 622-2823 or 1-800-638-4253.