In a surprising bit of Broadway news, the long-gestating revival of Dames at Sea will finally set sail on the Great White Way after much buzz about such in the past few seasons (see official logo above). The intimate musical—a regional favorite chronicling the creation of a major musical in the 1930s with sailors and divas in the daffy mix—premiered in 1966 and subsequently had an acclaimed 1968 Off Broadway run featuring a young, perky Bernadette Peters. Composed by Jim Wise, George Haimsohn and Robin Miller, this production will be directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner (42nd Street), and will be the first time the tuner has appeared on the Main Stem. The cast has not been set as of yet, but a 2014 workshop featured the likes of Laura Osnes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Mara Davi (A Chorus Line) and John Bolton (A Christmas Story).
The news is even more surprising given that the venue will be the Helen Hayes Theatre, Broadway’s smallest venue, which was recently announced as the new Broadway home of the not-for-profit Second Stage Theatre, who finalized plans to acquire the space in April for a sale of $42.5 million. Second Stage, however, will not produce new works at the space until the 2017-18 theater season, so Dames at Sea will operate as a rental.
“This is a triple-threat American musical comedy with a funny, witty book and a wonderfully tuneful score. It’s the first time in New York that Dames at Sea will be heard with an orchestra, and the show will have more dancing than ever before with all new dance and vocal arrangements by Rob Berman”, says director/choreographer Skinner, “and the Helen Hayes Theatre is the perfect fit for our show.”
Dames at Sea will begin previews at the Helen Hayes Theatre on September 24, with an opening night of October 22.