Andrew Rannells, Annaleigh Ashford and Colin Donnell Took Part in Workshop of New Musical Diner

News   Andrew Rannells, Annaleigh Ashford and Colin Donnell Took Part in Workshop of New Musical Diner
A workshop of the new musical Diner, inspired by the critically acclaimed 1982 film, was held prior to the holidays, according to the New York Post.

Annaleigh Ashford
Annaleigh Ashford

The workshop featured Book of Mormon's Andrew Rannells, Rent's Annaleigh Ashford and Anything Goes' Colin Donnell playing the roles of, respectively, Fenwick, Beth and Boogie.

As previously reported, there are plans to bring the musical to Broadway in the fall. Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreograph the production, which will play a limited out-of-town engagement in a city to be announced this summer.

Diner features a book by Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Barry Levinson, who directed and wrote the screenplay for the original film, and music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow. The musical will mark the Broadway debuts of both Levinson and Crow. 

Design team and casting will be announced at a later date. 

"'Diner' was a pivotal moment in my career, and since then I have continued to live with the characters, realizing there is much more to their story,” said Levinson in a previous statement. “I’m excited to be embarking on this stage version, which affords me the opportunity as a storyteller to expand on my original vision and let the characters express their innermost feeling and thoughts through song.” "I was already a huge fan of 'Diner' when Barry first approached me about writing a score for a theatrical re-telling of his film.  I knew exactly who these men and women were and I feverishly began writing,” added Crow. “Writing the score for 'Diner' has been the most challenging and fulfilling experience of my career.  I have always been a devotee and student of musical theatre, and I am very excited to be making this journey with Barry and Kathleen.”

Kathleen Marshall
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

"I am absolutely thrilled to be working on 'Diner' with one of my favorite filmmakers and one of my favorite recording artists," said Marshall. “Barry Levinson is a legendary writer, director and producer, and in his book for the musical of 'Diner,' he has enriched and deepened those characters we know and love so well from his celebrated screenplay.  Sheryl Crow is a brilliant singer, songwriter and performer, and her score for 'Diner' is original, theatrical and completely thrilling.  I can't wait to bring the work of these two great artists to Broadway!"

"It’s Christmas 1959 in Baltimore and six high school buddies, now in their twenties, reunite as the second member of the group is about to tie the knot," according to press notes. "Trying to deal with their new responsibilities, the group has awkwardly stumbled into adulthood and the only place they can make sense of their new lives is at their old hangout, The Fells Point Diner."

Released in 1982, "Diner" was Levinson's screen directing debut, and he received an Academy Award nomination for his original screenplay.  The bittersweet comedy starred Kevin Bacon, Ellen Barkin, Tim Daly, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke and Daniel Stern.

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