Ron Bohmer, Carolee Carmello and Marc Kudisch put their frills and finery into a trunk after the final road date of The Scarlet Pimpernel Aug. 30 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
Monday nights are unusual for theatre folk, particularly on the road, but the Fox booking began Wednesday Aug. 25. The company will head back to New York City to prepare for the show's first Broadway performance Sept. 10 at the Neil Simon Theatre.
The mini-summer tour, with new leads, a mostly new (smaller) cast and new direction since the Broadway production closed in the spring, began July 27 in Dallas, moved to Houston Aug. 10 and then to Atlanta.
Since closing at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre May 30, the musical adventure has been recast with a company of 29 (rather than the previous 41) and has a slightly altered scenic design and staging, but no major changes to the Frank Wildhorn-Nan Knighton score. Director Robert Longbottom is reapproaching the physical staging and casting with a fresh eye. Insiders affectionately call this version "3.0" because the show had two prior openings on Broadway, in 1997 and 1998.
Officially, the show is "resuming performances" -- not starting over. There will not be a preview period or an official opening night on Broadway this time around. The run is open-ended and will not be the same company that tours in 2000, according to a spokesperson. Bohmer (who plays the title character) is a onetime Broadway Enjolras in Les Miserables, Kudisch (as villainous Chauvelin) appeared in High Society and as Birdie in the Tommy Tune tour of Bye Bye Birdie and Carmello (who plays the torn French actress, Marguerite) is a 1999 Tony Award nominee for playing Lucille Frank in Parade.
The musical is based on the romantic adventure novel by Baroness Orczy, which told of the British nobleman who, with his friends, travels to Revolution-era France to save the innocent.
The new cast includes David Cromwell, Harvey Evans, Peter Flynn, Russell Garrett, Drew Geraci, Danny Gurwin, Cynthia Leigh Heim, James Hindman, Emily Hsu, Alicia Irving, Elizabeth Ward Land, Ken Land, David Masenheimer, Kirk McDonald, Robb McKindles, Katie Nutt, Elizabeth O'Neill, Jessica Phillips, Terry Richmond, Laura Schutter, Stephonne Smith, David St. Louis, James Van Treuren and Charles West.
Originally directed by Peter Hunt, the "musical adventure" opened at the Minskoff in fall 1997 to unenthusiastic reviews and ran a year.
Radio City Entertainment, which had bought the production during its 1997-98 run, invested dough in having composer Wildhorn and lyricist librettist Nan Knighton, along with new director-choreographer Longbottom, reimagine the piece.
The show was recast (keeping Tony Award-nominated Douglas Sills in the title role, adding Rachel York as the love interest Marguerite and Rex Smith as the villain, Chauvelin), remarketed and reopened at the Minskoff Oct. 10, 1998, earning better reviews from critics and audiences.
For Atlanta ticket information, call (404) 249-6400.
For Neil Simon Pimpernel tickets, call (212) 307-4100.