Tony winner Faith Prince, who was last seen on Broadway as the I of The King and I, will be the Me of Little Me in the revival of the Neil Simon/Carolyn Leigh/Cy Coleman musical-comedy which the Roundabout Theatre will put into rehearsal Aug. 18.
Co-star Martin Short discussed Prince's casting with Playbill On-Line. A production spokesperson said Prince's casting is not yet official.
In the original production of 1962 and in its second Broadway coming 20 years later, the title role of Belle Poitrine was essayed by two different actresses -- one the aging diva writing her memoirs who does the narration, the other a sprightly ingenue who acts out this colorful past. Both roles have been combined for the Roundabout rendition and will be played by Prince.
Prince won her Tony for Miss Adelaide, the "well-known fiancee" Nathan Lane's Nathan Detroit in the last Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls. The week of July 13, she starred in the Judy Holliday role in an abbreviated reprise of the Jule Styne/Betty Comden/Adolph Green musical, Bells Are Ringing, in the Kennedy Center's "Words & Music" series.
The record for doubling up in this new Little Me still goes to Short, who will play seven men in the life of the title character--seven!--as did Sid Caesar before him. For the 1982 revival, this Caesar load was divided between James Coco and Victor Garber. "I've never worked before with Faith, but I'm a big fan of hers," said Short. "I like the idea of being on stage with someone who's actually better than you are. I think that's the way to do it."
Simon, who scripted gags for Caesar on TV's "Your Show of Shows," created the show with the specific idea of turning the comedian into a Broadway star. It won him a Tony nomination, but the award went to Zero Mostel for a show scripted by another alumnus of "Your Show of Shows," Larry Gelbart (namely, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum).
Little Me got eight other Tony bids including those for Best Musical, Simon's book and the Leigh-Coleman score that boasts "I Got Your Number," "Real Live Girl,""On the Other Side of the Tracks," "Be a Performer," "Here's to Us" and "Poor Little Hollywood Star."
Rob Marshall, who is directing and choreographing the current revival, wore those two hats for Short's last NYC appearance--the "Encores!" presentation of Promises, Promises, another musical with a Simon book. Marshall's Tony-nominated choreography and co-direction are still on view at the Kit Kat Klub in the Roundabout's Tony-winning Cabaret.
The new Little Me begins previews Sept. 30 at the Roundabout's Stage Right Theatre.