To Be or Not To Be, the new play based on the classic Ernst Lubitsch film comedy, begins previews tonight on Broadway in preparation for its October 14 opening. Casey Nicholaw, Tony Award nominated for choreographing Monty Python's Spamalot, directs.
Jan Maxwell (Tony nominee for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and David Rasche (currently in theaters in Burn After Reading) star in the roles created onscreen by Carole Lombard and Jack Benny (and recreated by Ann Bancroft and Mel Brooks in the remake), a theatrical couple who gets mixed up with the Nazis in war torn Warsaw.
The production has had a couple of set backs, most notably when Craig Bierko, who was originally cast in the Benny role, abruptly left the show late last month. As a result, the scheduled first preview was pushed back twice. But, as the show biz saying goes, the show must go on, starting tonight and continuing through November 23 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.