Brian Stokes Mitchell and Heather Headley will join Nathan Lane and Randy Graff on the City Center stage for the May 6-9 "Encores!" concert revival of Do Re Mi, the 1960 Jule Styne-Betty Comden-Adolph Green musical that begat "Make Someone Happy."
Lane will be Hubie Cram, the petty schemer whose show business dreams threaten his marriage, leading to a rare 11 o'clock number for a male character in a musical, "All of My Life." Phil Silvers originated the role, opposite Nancy Walker. Graff (City of Angels) is now in the Walker role of Kay.
Mitchell, who played Coalhouse in Ragtime, and Headley, an alum of The Lion King and intended for Aida, play secondary love interests John Wheeler and Tilda Mullen, singing "Make Someone Happy."
* Lane, who made significant splashes Off-Broadway and on in The Lisbon Traviata, Guys and Dolls, Love! Valour! Compassion!, A Funny Thing Happened... and Mizlansky/Zilinsky, returns to New York in a plum role after his short-lived 1998-99 season TV series, Encore! Encore! -- not to be confused, of course, with "Encores!"
John Rando will direct Do Re Mi, Randy Skinner (Ain't Broadway Grand) will choreograph and Paul Gemignani will guest conduct while "Encores!" musical director Rob Fisher opens the Amsterdam company of Chicago.
For ticket information, call (212) 581-1212.
It's been a busy year for Rando. He recently staged David Ives' new work Lives of the Saints in Philadelphia and is currently staging Peter Ackerman's new comedy Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight at the Promenade Theater, starting previews April 23. After finishing work on Do Re Mi, he will travel to Los Angeles to stage Merton of the Movies at the Geffen Playhouse. He will then restage Saints at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Ives is credited with the Do Re Mi concert script adaptation.
Do Re Mi, which had a libretto by Garson Kanin (who died earlier this year), introduced "Make Someone Happy" to the world, sung by John Reardon and Nancy Dussault, who played sub-plot lovers in the show business satire (about the record industry). Stars Silvers and Walker played a low-rung show biz schlemiel and his long suffering wife.
Also in the score are "It's Legitimate," "I Know About Love," "The Late Late Show," "Fireworks" and "Adventure," a tour-de-force for Walker. In one number, a classic Comden-Green nightclub scene, Dussault was dressed as an animal, singing, "What's New At the Zoo."
The popular series at City Center in New York City revisits neglected or seldom-revived musical theatre scores and scripts in a conceptual concert form, often with big-name stage talent. The current Broadway revival of Chicago began as an "Encores!" presentation.
Earlier in 1999 "Encores!" presented The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 and Babes in Arms.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson