Filmmaker Raymond De Felitta, who is earning acclaim for the indie film "City Island," penned the book for Buddy's Tavern, which is also based on his 2000 romantic comedy "Two Family House."
Buddy's Tavern was developed during the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Music Theater Conference last summer. Conference artistic director Paulette Haupt is guiding the further development of the musical that has music and lyrics by Kim Oler and Alison Hubbard.
Warren Carlyle (Finian's Rainbow) will direct the reading that will feature Hensley (Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein) as Buddy, Osnes (South Pacific, Anything Goes) as Mary and Burns (In the Heights, Songs for a New World) as Buddy’s wife Estelle.
"'Two Family House' is one of my favorite all time movies," Haupt told Playbill.com "I think that the authors and composer are extremely gifted, and their collaboration is a strong one. Raymond De Felitta has done a terrific job in adapting his original screenplay to the stage. Their continued journey on the piece at the O'Neill Theater Center was impressive, and I feel that this work has tremendous potential for a very broad audience."
Here's how the creative team bills the work: "[Buddy's Tavern] centers on an Italian-American man whose dream is to open a bar in the lower half of a two-story house on Staten Island in the 1950’s where he can sing to his heart’s content. Along the way he struggles with money, fear, racial prejudice and ultimately the courage to fall in love and become his own man."
New York-based musical theatre development company Premieres is presenting the reading of the Richard Rodgers Award-winning work. Allison Horsley is the dramaturg for the reading, which will have music direction by Ray Fellman.