'On the Town' Returns to Broadway

10:22 AM PST 03/06/2014 by David Rooney
Kevin Sprague
"On the Town" at Barrington Stage Company

The revival of the classic Leonard Bernstein musical about three sailors on shore leave in New York City will open in October in the theater vacated by "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."

NEW YORK – Broadway’s Foxwoods Theatre, until recently the home of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has a new name and a new tenant, and it’s not King Kong.

While the Australian mega-musical was expected to snap up that vacancy on 42nd Street, the Foxwoods, which is being renamed the Lyric Theatre after a renovation, instead will house a revival of On the Town, opening in October.

First produced on Broadway in 1944, the musical follows three sailors on 24-hour wartime shore leave in New York, and their romantic adventures as they pursue three women while also falling in love with the city itself.

Based on an idea by Jerome Robbins for his ballet Fancy Free, the show has a score by Leonard Bernstein, with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It includes such classic songs as "New York, New York," "I Can Cook, Too," "Some Other Time" and "Lonely Town."

The musical is widely known via MGM’s 1949 film version, directed by Stanley Donen and starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller.

Tony winner John Rando (Urinetown, A Christmas Story: The Musical) will direct the revival, with choreography by Joshua Bergasse (NBC's Smash). The production had a well-received tryout last summer at Barrington Stage Company.

Lead producers on the revival are Howard Janet Kagan. Preview and official opening dates, as well as cast, are to be announced.

Having been modified to accommodate the elaborate technical requirements of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which wrapped its three-year run in January, the Foxwoods will be overhauled and renamed the Lyric prior to reopening. The 1,900-seat house is one of Broadway’s largest venues.

Earlier reports had indicated that the Global Creatures production of King Kong, which debuted in Melbourne last year, would be moving into the theater. However, representatives for that production said a decision has been made not to rush to Broadway this year, with the goal now shifting to a spring 2015 opening.

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