The development of Wise Guys, the new musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, continues, according to an article in the Winter 1998 issue of The Sondheim Review. Another reading was held for producers last Nov. 8, this time with more of the work completed.
"At the first reading, last March 27," The Sondheim Review said, "the full script and two long songs were presented to producers. In November, the reading consisted of most of the first act, including the songs that have been written so far: an opening number (which actually consists of four songs, one of them called 'Wise Guys'), followed by 'Benicia,' 'Gold,' 'Next to You,' 'Addison's Trip Around the World,' 'Dowagers,' 'The Good Life' and 'The Game.'
"As reported earlier, "Wise Guys" tells the story of the legendary Mizner brothers, famous as con men, adventurers and entrepreneurs from the 1890s to the 1920s.
"The cast for the November reading consisted of Sondheim veterans Victor Garber as Wilson Mizner, Nathan Lane as Addison Mizner, Debra Monk as Mama Mizner and with an ensemble that included Ray Wills, Greg Jbara, William Parry and Randy Graff.
"Sondheim emphasized that the actors were used only to audition the script and songs and there are no conclusions on casting. Garber was included because he had been in the earlier reading. 'Without him even more rehearsal time would have been needed," Sondheim said. "Lori Steinberg again directed, Paul Gemignani was the musical director and David Evans the accompanist."
"We'll just keep writing," Sondheim told The Sondheim Review. He said he thought there would be another reading when the work is completed, probably in a couple of months.
"Wise Guys" is still tentatively scheduled to open in 1998 at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, which commissioned the work.
-- Used Courtesy The Sondheim Review