Ten Cents a Dance, With Donna McKechnie and Malcolm Gets, Opens at the McCarter Sept. 16

News   Ten Cents a Dance, With Donna McKechnie and Malcolm Gets, Opens at the McCarter Sept. 16
Tony Award winner John Doyle's Ten Cents a Dance, a rueful musical tale culled from the songs of Rodgers and Hart, officially opens Sept. 16 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ. Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie and Tony nominee Malcolm Gets star.

Donna McKechnie and Malcolm Gets
Donna McKechnie and Malcolm Gets Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Doyle (a Tony winner for Sweeney Todd) first staged the actor-musician piece at the U.K.'s Watermill Theatre in 2002. Utilizing the songs of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for its score, Doyle returned to the production this summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where Ten Cents a Dance played a late summer engagement. Williamstown co-presents the production with the McCarter.

Ten Cents a Dance began previews at the McCarter Sept. 9 and will continue through Oct. 9. Critics praised the Williamstown production, which traces the romantic life of pianist-crooner Johnny (played by Gets) solely through music as he relives his past loves.

In addition to Gets (The Story of My Life) and McKechnie (A Chorus Line) as Miss Jones Five, the cast features Elisa Winter (Sweeney Todd) as Miss Jones One, Jane Pfitsch (Company) as Miss Jones Two, Jessica Tyler Wright (Sweeney Todd) as Miss Jones Three and Diana DiMarzio (Sweeney Todd) as Miss Jones Four.

Winter replaces Lauren Molina as Miss Jones One for the McCarter engagement. Also a veteran of Doyle's Sweeney Todd, Molina originated the role of Miss Jones One at Williamstown, but is currently starring as Cunegonde in the Huntington Theatre Company engagement of Candide, directed by Mary Zimmerman.

Click here to read Playbill.com's Brief Encounter interview with Doyle. Here's how the work is billed: "Crooner Johnny wistfully recalls his lifelong love affair of chorus girl Miss Jones, who is embodied by five women, each portraying a different stage of her life. As Johnny and Miss Jones take 'Manhattan' under a 'Blue Moon' while 'Falling in Love with Love,' you can't help but think 'Isn't it Romantic?' — even if sometimes 'The Lady is a Tramp.' These and so many other unforgettable songs — filled with infatuation, longing, and enchantment — will sparkle like a glass of champagne on a sexy summer evening. 'All you need is a ticket, come on big boy, ten cents a dance.'"

The creative team includes previous Doyle collaborator Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who music-directs and orchestrates, as well as Scott Pask (scenic design), Ann Hould-Ward (costume design), Jane Cox (lighting design) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound design/composer). Dontee Kiehn is the movement consultant.

U.K.-born director Doyle, who staged the Broadway revivals of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Company, will next take on the composer-lyricist's short-lived musical Merrily We Roll Along at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in March 2012.

Doyle also collaborated with Sondheim on the 2008 Off-Broadway production of Road Show, which bowed at the Public Theater and debuted at London's Menier Chocolate Factory this summer. He earned a Tony Award for his direction of the 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd and also directed the Broadway musical A Catered Affair.

For tickets visit www.mccarter.org, call (609) 258-2787 or go to the McCarter Theatre ticket office, which is located at 91 University Place in Princeton.

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