Noises off: ‘Urinetown!’ smells like a hit

Monday night shows help boost legiter's rep

NEW YORK — Monday nights may no longer be dark nights for Off Broadway if “Urinetown!” turns into the “Producers” of tiny tuners, as expected. Due to John Rando’s hectic work sked, the musical included Monday previews so its director could check in on the production while doing double duty with his Tom Selleck starrer “A Thousand Clowns” at Duke U. in North Carolina.

“Theater people have it off, so we were able to create a word of mouth with these special Monday-night shows,” Rando says of the Greg Kotis/Mark Hoffmann musical about relieving oneself.

Rando will continue to pick up frequent-flier miles in June as he hops between Chicago and Boston, where “Clowns” will be playing on its way to a July 17 Broadway opening, to rehearsals at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., for Joe DiPietro’s “They All Laughed! The New Gershwin Musical,” opening June 29.

Duo join Bierko in new tuner

Norbert Butz and Kate Levering look to join Craig Bierko in the new Susan Stroman/Harry Connick Jr. musical “Thou Shalt Not,” due to premiere on Broadway this fall under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater.

With a book by Tommy Thompson, “Thou Shalt Not” is adapted from “Therese Raquin,” Emile Zola’s novel about two lovers who murder the woman’s husband. The tuner, which workshopped last fall at LCT, updates the Zola story to New Orleans after World War II.

Levering is a Stroman favorite, having been directed by the “Producers” helmer in “A Christmas Carol” at Madison Square Garden and the current Broadway revival of “The Music Man.” The actress opened last weekin “42nd Street” at the Ford Center.

Butz plays Therese’s feeble husband, Camille. The actor currently is in rehearsals for Jason Robert Brown’s latest, “The Last Five Years,” directed by Daisy Prince at the North Light Theater in Skokie, Ill. The new musical begins previews May 16.

Bierko completes the ill-fated triangle in the role of Therese’s lover, Laurent.

Rallying around rodgers

Whether or not Trevor Nunn’s “Oklahoma!” materializes in New York next season (January at the Minskoff?), the centennial of Richard Rodgers’ birth will not be overlooked on Broadway.

Roundabout’s Todd Haimes confirmed that the 1938 Rodgers & Hart musical “The Boys From Syracuse” would complete the company’s 2001-2002 season at the American Airlines Theater, with productions of “Major Barbara” and “The Women” previously announced.

Haimes made the announcement last week at a benefit in honor of Stephen Sondheim. The artistic director reaffirmed the company’s commitment to musicals, and for his part, Sondheim referred to the Roundabout’s planned production of his killer tuner “Assassins” this fall as an act of “bravery.”

Scott Ellis (“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”) will helm the “Boys From Syracuse” revival in spring 2002.

Martin switches reps

Nicholas Martin leaves the William Morris Agency for Helen Merrill Ltd., where he is repped in all areas by Patrick Herold. The legit director had been a client of WMA’s Gilbert Parker, who retired in December.

Martin’s staging of “Hedda Gabler,” with Kate Burton, comes to Broadway this fall after much acclaim at Bay Street, Williamstown and the Huntington Theater Co., where Martin is artistic director.

Shanley in the lab

Beginning June 19, the LAByrinth Theater Co. presents the world premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s new play, “Where’s My Money?,” with John Ortiz and David Deblinger set to headline the dark comedy about two Brooklyn divorce lawyers.

Playwright Shanley directed his last work, “Cellini,” at Second Stage, and will perform those duties on “Money.” He is currently at work on a musical version of his Oscar-winning screenplay for “Moonstruck.”