Roundabout Postpones Bacharach World B'way Transfer

News   Roundabout Postpones Bacharach World B'way Transfer
New York's Roundabout Theatre has officially postponed plans to produce the Burt Bacharach-Hal David revue What the World Needs Now on Broadway this summer.

New York's Roundabout Theatre has officially postponed plans to produce the Burt Bacharach-Hal David revue What the World Needs Now on Broadway this summer.

Billed as "a contemporary musical fable," the new musical featuring the hit songs of Bacharach and David (Promises, Promises) opened Apr. 2 at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, for a run through May 10. The idea was to try the revue, What The World Needs Now, out on the coast and then bring it to Broadway's Roundabout Theatre, June 3-Aug. 16. Gillian Lynne directs and choreographs the revue, which has a book by Kenny Solms, based on an idea by Solms and Lynne. Lynne is the choreographer of Cats and Phantom Of The Opera.

Mixed reviews of the Old Globe mounting have changed the show's plans, however. Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes flew down to San Diego to take a look, resulting in an Apr. 14 announcement that the show has been officially postponed to "a later date." The revue continues at the Old Globe through May 10.

Said Haimes in a statement, "WTWNN is a wonderful idea, and Gillian [Lynne], Kenny [Soames] and the designers have done remarkable work... I do not feel, however, that the show is ready for Broadway, and we need to spend more time in development before opening in New York."

Citing the need for a show to fill out the Roundabout's subscription series, Haimes expects to announce "a replacement production" shortly. Appearing in Bacharach and David's World at the Old Globe are Roxane Barlow, John Bolton, Brendan Byrnes, Lindsay Chambers, Misty Cotton, Sutton Foster, Jack Donohue, Christianne Farr-Wersinger, Pamela Gold, Amy Heggins, Jenny Hill, Alicia Irving, Joanne Manning, Adam Matalon, Rod McCune, Paula Newsome, Monica Pege, Jonathan Sharp, Mark Anthony Taylor, Lewis Cleale and Courtney Young.

Designing the show are Bob Crowley (set), Greg Barnes (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lighting), Jeff Ladman (sound) and Harold Wheeler (orchestrations). Alex Rybeck serves as musical director.

The story of WTWNN follows Alfie and his friends searching for modern romance. As the Old Globe press release puts it, "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy struggles to get girl back."

No doubt interest in Bacharach & David's work was rekindled by the wildly acclaimed Encores! concert staging of Promises, Promises last season. Songs by the pair include "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again," both in the show, alongside "One Less Bell To Answer," "Walk On By" and "Alfie."

Here is a complete list of the songs in the show, as of opening night, April 2, 1998:

Act One

"What The World Needs Now"
"Always Something There to Remind Me"
"This Guy's In Love With You"
"Knowing When To Leave"
"I'll Never Fall In Love Again"
"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"
"She Likes Basketball"
"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"
"Walk On By"
"The World Is A Circle"
"You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)"
"Magic Moments"
"Are You There? (With Another Girl)"
"In The Land Of Make Believe"
"To Wait For Love"
"Close To You"
"The Look Of Love"
"You'll Think Of Someone"
"I Say A Little Prayer"
"I Just Have To Breathe"
"Paper Mache"
"The Balance Of Nature"
"Don't Make Me Over"
"Alfie (Reprise)"

Act Two

"Walk On By"
"Trains And Boats And Planes"
"Do You Know The Way To San Jose"
"Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa"
"Message To Michael"
"I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself"
"My Little Red Book"
"Wives And Lovers"
"Any Ole Time Of The Day"
"Make It Easy On Yourself"
"Denial Ballet"
"A House Is Not A Home"
"What's New Pussycat?/Wishin' And Hopin'"
"A House Is Not A Home (Reprise)"
"One Less Bell To Answer"
"Blue On Blue"
"Here Where There Is Love"
"Anyone Who Had A Heart"
"What The World Needs Now" (Reprise)


In other Roundabout Theatre news...
The company's hit revival of Cabaret, staged by Sam Mendes at the Kit Kat Klub, recorded its cast album Apr. 13. RCA Victor plans to release the CD June 16. Cabaret stars Natasha Richardson, Alan Cumming, Mary Louise Wilson and Ron Rifkin.

Variety reports that the Roundabout is hoping to do a U.S. tour of Cabaret, but only if the show could keep its environmental feel of a run-down smokey, Berlin nightclub intact. Variety reports that the Roundabout has been in discussions with owners of unusual and smaller than-typical tour venues, but a Boneau/Bryan-Brown spokesperson told Playbill On-Line (Apr. 14) that although a tour was being looked into, "there's nothing set, no time frame yet."

Roundabout's acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge officially reopens Apr. 15 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell will come to the Off Broadway Laura Pels space May 27, with an opening date still to be announced. Robert Sean Leonard stars, but as of Apr. 14, no further casting has been announced.

As for next season at the Roundabout, nothing's been set, though reports have cropped up that The Lion In Winter, cancelled this season, is back on the front burner, with Lawrence Fishburne in talks to star.

Another strong candidate is Paula Vogel's The Mineola Twins. A production spokesperson confirmed that a reading of Twins was done in early winter, one that starred Annette Benning (Coastal Disturbances) and Jane Kazmarek (Kindertransport). Vogel is the author of The Baltimore Waltz and How I Learned To Drive, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama Apr. 14.

-- By David Lefkowitz and Robert Viagas

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