‘Charity’ change up

Krakowski replaces Tomei as tuner's lead

This article was corrected on July 1, 2003.

Jane Krakowski has replaced Marisa Tomei in the current workshop of “Sweet Charity.”

Workshop went into rehearsals June 23 in Gotham and will continue through July 15. Tomei reportedly got the bad news over the weekend, and Krakowski started work Monday. Revival would have marked Tomei’s first Broadway venture in a musical, which probably explains the casting switch. An experienced musical comedy performer, Krakowski recently won a Tony Award for her current turn in “Nine.” She made her Broadway debut in 1987’s “Starlight Express” and nabbed her first Tony nom three years later for “Grand Hotel.”

Maybe there’s also a Krakowski/Fellini connection at play. “Nine” is based on the filmmaker’s “8½” and “Sweet Charity” is adapted from his “Nights of Cabiria.”

Tomei recently ended a stint on Broadway in “Salome.”

Prior to that engagement she had been signed to do “Sweet Charity.” Tomei remained in place as its star even when the show’s first director, Walter Bobbie, left the production in February. He was later replaced by Timothy Sheader, a Brit who directed a successful revival of “Sweet Charity” last year at the Crucible in Sheffield, England. Mark Dendy is choreographer on the project.

Whether the “Sweet Charity” workshop segues into a full production remains to be seen. Producers Fran and Barry Weissler and Clear Channel are set to make that decision based on the results of the workshop.

Gwen Verdon created the role of Charity in 1966. The show was last revived on Broadway in 1986 with Debbie Allen.

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