The new David Leveaux staging of the Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit musical began previews at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre March 21 and officially opened on April 10. The limited engagement was originally scheduled to end June 29, but then extended.
Leveaux (set to helm the upcoming Fiddler on the Roof revival) resets Nine in the early 1960's Venice, around the time that the musical's source material — the Federico Fellini film "8 1/2" — was released.
Dressed in a monochromatic '60s mod style (as in a black-and-white film), the women in Italian director Guido Contini's life include his wife, mistress, leading lady, mother, first sexual encounter and producer. They swarm around the once-lauded director as he attempts to revive his career and arouse inspiration by escaping to a Venetian spa.
The revival's original cast included Antonio Banderas making his Broadway debut as the show's focal character, filmmaker Guido Contini. The cast featured a slew of women including Mary Stuart Masterson as his wife, Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski as his mistress, Chita Rivera as his producer and Laura Benanti as his leading lady. Mary Beth Peil, Deidre Goodwin, Myra Lucretia Taylor and William Ullrich were also featured in the cast.
The current cast of Nine features John Stamos, Eartha Kitt, Rebecca Luker, Sara Gettelfinger, Marni Nixon and Masterson. Jenna Elfman was announced to take on the role played by Krakowski, but was replaced — due to lack of rehearsal time — by Gettelfinger. The Nine revival featured choreography by Jonathan Butterell and musical direction by Kevin Stites. Creating a spectacle that includes a spiral staircase that reaches into the fly space, a Botticelli backdrop, a suspended bedsheet entrance and lots and lots of running water, were a design team including Scott Pask (sets), Victoria Mortimer (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Jon Weston (sound).
The Broadway cast album, released by PS Classics June 17, is currently available in stores. Among the songs featured in the score are "Not Since Chaplin," "My Husband Makes Movies," "A Call from the Vatican," "Folies Bergeres," "Ti Voglio Bene," "Be Italian," and "Unusual Way."