Prince to headline ‘Catered Affair’

Actor stars in new Fierstein project

Faith Prince will topline “A Catered Affair,” the new Broadway tuner from scribe-thesp Harvey Fierstein and composer John Bucchino.

Prince will play matriarch Aggie Hurley in the adaptation of the Paddy Chayefsky tale, which follows a family wedding in the Bronx in 1953. Fierstein plays Aggie’s brother.

Helmed by John Doyle (“Sweeney Todd,” “Company”), “Affair” is due to hit Broadway in spring 2008, following a tryout run at the Old Globe in San Diego in fall.

Rialto fave Prince (“Huff”), who won a Tony for her role in the 1992 revival of “Guys and Dolls,” has not appeared in a Broadway musical since the spring 2001 revival of “Bells Are Ringing.” Her most recent Broadway credit is the fall 2001 revival of “Noises Off.”

No other actors have been set for the 10-person ensemble. Casting begins later this month, with rehearsals for the show beginning in Gotham Aug. 14 for a first perf in San Diego Sept. 20.

“Her role is much better than mine,” Fierstein said of Prince. “She’s really ripe for a juicy, emotional part.”

In “Affair,” the Hurley clan is forced to choose between investing their life savings in a family biz or spending it on their daughter’s nuptials. Tale originated as a 1955 teleplay by Chayefsky that was adapted by Gore Vidal into a 1956 feature starring Bette Davis (in the role Prince will play), Ernest Borgnine and Debbie Reynolds.

Capitalized at about $6.5 million, the tuner version is produced by Jujamcyn Theaters, Harvey Entertainment/Ron Fierstein and Richie Jackson. Musical will play in one of Jujamcyn’s Broadway houses.

Doyle’s premiere production will not require thesps to double as musicians, as was the case for his recent Sondheim revivals “Sweeney Todd” (last season) and “Company” (this season).

Jujamcyn VP Jordan Roth emphasized the humanity and heart of the story but also acknowledged the show’s marketability to the prime Rialto demo of middle-aged women. “The show is about a mother, a daughter and a wedding,” he said. “It doesn’t get more Broadway than that.”

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