Busker Alley: producers pull the plug.
Jim Dale will not be starring in the Sherman brothers musical Busker Alley, which had been expected to arrive on Broadway, as the show's producers - Margot Astrachan, Robert Blume, Kristine Lewis, Jamie Fox, Joanna Kerry and Heather Duke - have withdraw from the production.
In a statement released on 25 Aug 2009 the producers said, "Due to the loss of one member of the writing team and the health issues of another, it is with great regret that we withdraw from this project. We will be returning all of the money to our investors and release all of our sponsors from their obligations."
The book for the musical is by film, television and theatre writer, AJ Carothers (The Happiest Millionaire, The Secret of My Success). Carothers passed away in April 2007, and with the ailing health of one of the Sherman brothers the production team was struggling to stay focused.
Busker Alley was to have opened on Broadway in 1995, starring Tommy Tune as 'Charlie'. That production had an 11 city pre-Broadway tour that literally ended at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida when Tommy Tune broke his left foot just weeks before the Broadway opening. Due to Tunes injury the show was cancelled before reaching Broadway.
Busker Alley captures the life and spirit of street performers (buskers) who earn their living in the shadow of Londonï¿½s West End glamour just before and during World War II. A devil-may-care busker, Charlie (to have been played by Jim Dale), no longer 'as young as he was,' takes a gutsy, young sneak thief under his wing. He discovers her gift for music and performing and, with his tutelage, her talent blossoms along with his growing infatuation for her. Although Libby becomes part of the busker family, she wants more out of life. Her natural charm and drive feeds her need for 'being on the inside.' When she attracts the attention of a major West End producer, she leaves Charlie to follow her dream.
The musical is based on the 1938 British motion picture, 'St. Martinï¿½s Lane,' starring Charles Laughton and Vivien Leigh, which itself was based on the 1928 Marlene Dietrich/Emil Jannings film 'The Blue Angel.' They were both inspired by the early 20th Century novel, 'Small Town Tyrant' by Heinrich Mann.
Originally published on