Composer Walter Edgar Kennon's musical version of Time and Again, in development for several years -- including a production at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego -- takes its next step toward a Broadway production April 19, when rehearsals for a five-week New York City workshop begin.
Among the cast for the rehearsal and eventual reading of musical, based on the late Jack Finney's best-selling time-travel novel, are Laura Benanti as Julia, William Parry as Pickering, Julia Murney as Kate, Kay Walbye as Aunt Evie, Lauren Ward as Emily and Joseph Kolinski as the Trolley Man. Not yet announced are the coveted roles of Dr. Danziger (founder of the time-travel experiment) and hero Si Morley (who is hand-picked to travel back to 1880s New York).
Benanti, who is not yet 21, is the current Maria in The Sound of Music, and is the daughter of actor Martin Vidnovic, seen in Baby, 1979's Oklahoma! and A Grand Night for Singing..
Susan H. Schulman directs, Kathleen Marshall is choreographer, book is by Jack Viertel, music and lyrics by Walter Edgar (Skip) Kennon. Musical director is Kevin Stites (On the Town, Titanic, Sunset Boulevard).
Among the Time and Again producers are Thomas Viertel, Steven Baruch and Richard Frankel, who initiated the project about escaping into the romance and intrigue of a seemingly simpler, better New York City. The five weeks of work will culminate in several readings in late May.
Jack O'Brien directed and Kathleen Marshall choreographed the 1996 San Diego production, which starred Rebecca Luker and Howard McGillin.
Kennon, who wrote Herringbone with lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh, is artistic coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He was recently attached to the in-development musical, Don Juan DeMarco.
-- By Kenneth Jones