Tony Award–winner Leslie Uggams has joined the cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream, to be presented by New York City Center Encores! series, March 28 – April 1. Ms. Uggams will play Fauna, the proprietress of the Bear Flag Café, the local brothel.
Pipe Dream will be directed by Marc Bruni with music direction by Rob Berman and choreography by Kelli Barclay. It will play for seven performances at New York City Center, West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.
As of February 16, the cast includes includes Will Chase, James Clow, James Moye, Laura Osnes, Steve Routman, Leslie Uggams, Stephen Wallem and Tom Wopat.
Leslie Uggams (Fauna) is a Tony and Emmy Award–winning actress and singer whose career has brought her from Harlem to Broadway, the big screen and television, as Kizzy in the landmark TV mini-series "Roots" (Critics Choice Award, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations) and "The Leslie Uggams Show." On Broadway Ms. Uggams made her musical theater debut starring in Hallelujah, Baby! earning both Tony and Theater World Awards. Since then she has starred on Broadway in Blues in the Night, Her First Roman with Richard Kiley, Jerry's Girls, Anything Goes at the Lincoln Center Theater, King Headley II (Tony Award nomination), Thoroughly Modern Millie, and most recently On Golden Pond opposite James Earl Jones.
Outcasts living by their wits populate the bordellos and flophouses of a 1950s California seaside town in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream, based on John Steinbeck's novel Sweet Thursday.
The show features many of Steinbeck's Cannery Row characters and tells the story of the romance between Doc (Will Chase), a marine biologist, and Suzy (Laura Osnes), a young woman who hitchhikes into town looking for a better life. Doc's friends include Mac (Tom Wopat), Hazel (Stephen Wallem), and Fauna (Leslie Uggams), the owner of the local brothel. Pipe Dream opened at the Shubert Theatre on November 30, 1955, and ran for 246 performances. It was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Pipe Dream has been virtually absent from the American stage for more than two decades, owing to a technicality involving the underlying rights. The Encores! presentation will also include the first hearing of the newly restored Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations, meticulously reconstructed by the Rodgers & Hammerstein office and featuring such rarities as "All at Once You Love Her," "The Next Time It Happens," and the wistful ballad "Everybody's Got a Home but Me."
The 2012 Encores! season is made possible, in part, by the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores!, Stacey and Eric Mindich, and Daryl and Steven Roth. In addition, Encores! is supported by Newman's Own Foundation. Paul Newman was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, Newman's Own Foundation donates to charity all net royalties and profits after taxes from the sale of Newman's Own products. To date, Paul Newman and Newman's Own Foundation have given over $300 million to thousands of charities around the world. For more information, visit www.newmansownfoundation.org.