Walter Bobbie exited as director of the project in February. The reason given was that Bobbie and producer Barry Weissler could not concur on the makeup of the show's creative team. The parting was described as amicable. Since a new director has not yet been secured, the production is unable to meet the established pre-Broadway dates. New dates will be announced shortly, said a production spokesperson. The Broadway opening—last set for January 2004—will also be pushed back.
Tomei will remain with the show, a quirky, romantic, urban musical comedy about a dance hall hostess with a heart of gold (and a penchant for singing songs like "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Where Am I Going?" and "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This").
The Neil Simon-Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields show from 1966 was a triumph for creator-director-choreographer Bob Fosse and actress Gwen Verdon. A film starred Shirley MacLaine as the innocent Charity, who lives hopefully ever after that she'll find a mate. A 1986 Broadway revival (overseen by Fosse, who died shortly after) starred Debbie Allen. There was talk in recent seasons that Paula Abdul was attached to a tour of the show (it never materialized).
The previously-announced tryout engagements were the Canon Theatre in Toronto May 20-June 29, and Chicago's Shubert Theatre July 1-20, followed by August Broadway previews.
The show will mark the Broadway musical comedy debut of Marisa Tomei, who won the Academy Award for "My Cousin Vinnie." Her Broadway debut was a revival of the thriller Wait Until Dark two seasons ago. At last report, Robert Cuccioli had been offered the role of Italian movie star Vittorio Vidal, who has a brief encounter with Charity, leading her to sing "If My Friends Could See Me Now." (Vittorio also gets the ballad "Too Many Tomorrows.")