July 24, 2008

‘Tale of Two Cities’ Musical an Epic in the Making


Jill Santoriello has been working on her stage version of Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" for a long time since Ronald Reagan was president.

"I'm not going to tell you which term," says the woman who wrote the book, music and lyrics for the lavish musical set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. The production, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, opens Sept. 18 at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Preview performances begin Aug. 19.

She was first drawn to "Wuthering Heights" as a subject to musicalize but found the story too depressing. Better to focus on Dickens' epic adventure the stories of aristocratic Charles Darnay, played by Aaron Lazar, and the dissolute Sydney Carton, portrayed by James Barbour, and how they intertwine, particularly when it concerned their love for Lucie Manette, played here by Brandi Burkhardt.

"A Tale of Two Cities" was staged at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Fla., last fall before finding its way to New York. "It has been a long journey," Santoriello acknowledged, but she never thought of giving up. "It has meant too much to me. I always felt that one day we would succeed."

For tickets to "A Tale of Two Cities," call Telecharge, 212-239- 6200, or go online at tele charge.com. For more information on the show, visit the Web site talemusical.com.


Is there anything more contentious than family?

The question apparently is put to the test in "Three Changes," Nicky Silver's dark new comedy about the ties that bind, sometimes a bit too tightly. The world premiere is the first offering of the season for Playwrights Horizons. It opens Sept. 16 on its main stage. Preview performances begin Aug. 22.

The play concerns a comfortably married New York couple, played by Dylan McDermott and Maura Tierney, whose lives are disrupted by a wayward relative (Scott Cohen).

For more information on the 2008-09 season at Playwrights Horizons, call Ticket Central, 212-279-4200, or go online at playwrightshorizons. org.

(c) 2008 Record, The; Bergen County, N.J.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.