With the mid-spring closing of Fuddy Meers, rumors abounded that two shows were seriously considering Off-Broadway's Minetta Lane Theatre: Keith Glover's Thunder Knocking on the Door and Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation. However, Thunder's producers didn't feel that show was ready for prime time, and plans for Durang's show remain up in the air. Instead, August brings a new musical called imPerfect Chemistry [sic], with music by Albert Tapper and book and lyrics by James Racheff. Racheff, librettist and co-lyricist for the Goodspeed's Houdini, also adapted the David Merrick-produced Broadway revival of Oh, Kay! a few years back.
Brooks Ashmanskas, who played various roles in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Little Me, and Dierdre Lovejoy, who had a featured role in Getting and Spending, are among the castmembers. Also featured are Ken Barnett, John Jellison, Amanda Watkins, Joel Carlton, Michael Greenwood and Sara Schmidt.
According to a spokesperson at the Pete Sanders press office, Chemistry, formerly titled "After the Follicle," deals with issues of science vs. ethics, good vs. evil and hair vs. "big hair."
Sources say the comedy tells of a genetic therapy for male pattern baldness that ends up threatening all humankind. John Ruocco directs the piece, which starts previews Aug. 8 and opens Aug. 24. Peter Press is producing the show, which has sets by Rob Odorisio, lighting by John-Paul Szczepanski, costumes by Curtis Hay and sound design by Mike Gwinn. August Eriksmoen serves as musical director, arranger and orchestrator. For tickets ($50) and information on imPerfect Chemistry at the Minetta Lane Theatre, Sixth Avenue (West 3rd St.), call (212) 307-4100.
-- By David Lefkowitz