On the Town Star to Join Cast of Prince of Broadway Japan World Premiere

News   On the Town Star to Join Cast of Prince of Broadway Japan World Premiere
Tony Award-nominated On the Town star Tony Yazbeck's name has been added to the lineup of Broadway stars listed to appear in the Japanese world premiere of Prince of Broadway, a new musical celebrating the Tony-winning Broadway career of producer-director Harold Prince.

Tony Yazbeck in <i>On the Town</i>
Tony Yazbeck in On the Town Photo by Joan Marcus

The new musical is scheduled to play Oct. 23-Nov. 22 at Tokyu Theatre Orb in Tokyo and Nov. 28-Dec. 10 at Umeda Arts Theater, Main Hall, in Osaka. Prince of Broadway, which features words and music from many of the shows that have earned Prince a record 21 Tony Awards, has a book by two-time Tony Award nominee David Thompson, co-direction and choreography by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, and direction by Prince.

Production spokesperson Nancy Alligood confirmed to Playbill.com that Yazbeck will leave On the Town in mid-September, and that replacement casting for Gabey will be announced later this summer.

Yazbeck's name (spelled "Yazbek") was added to the cast lineup on the Prince of Broadway official site.

Yazbeck, who played Tulsa in the Patti LuPone Gypsy, Al in A Chorus Line and Phil Davis in Irving Berlin's White Christmas, earned his first Tony Award nomination, as Best Actor in a Musical, for playing Gabey in the current revival of On the Town. The previously announced cast of Prince of Broadway includes Tony winner Shuler Hensley, Tony nominee Ramin Karimloo, Tony nominee Nancy Opel, Tony nominee David Pittu, Emily Skinner, Josh Grisetti, Bryonha Marie Parham, Mariand Torres, Kaley Ann Voorhees and Reon Yuzuki.

Prince of Broadway, according to press notes, "will look at the circumstances and fortune, both good and bad, that led to Hal Prince creating some of the most enduring and beloved theatre of all time, including The Pajama Game, West Side Story, Fiorello!, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show in Broadway history."

Prince commented, "The idea for Prince of Broadway was brought me to me some years ago and, a tad reluctantly, I agreed to consider the notion of a compendium show featuring material from the 34 musicals I directed and/or produced on Broadway. Subsequently, I asked Susan Stroman to choreograph and co-direct with me because so much of the material will require inspired movement. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to reproduce verbatim what I staged in the original productions. Instead, I plan to re-think each segment and direct it as I would today, possibly having learned more about what I’m doing in the subsequent years. Finally, I’ve asked Jason Robert Brown, a choice composer with whom I’ve worked before (Parade) to orchestrate the show, write connective musical material, and create a brand-new number for the finale. After all, my career is just a blip on the theatre screen and there will be a rich future."

The upcoming production will feature set design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt, costume design by six-time Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Sonoyo Nishikawa and sound design by Koichi Yamamoto. Wig design is by Paul Huntley. Musical supervisor and arrangements are by three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown. Musical director is Fred Lassen. Casting is by Tara Rubin.

Rehearsals begin in New York Sept. 1.

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