Musical vets Robert and Richard Sherman are looking for a Broadway berth in 2008. The siblings — who penned the songs for “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” — have written the score for “Busker Alley,” a tuner about love among street musicians.
Show was last seen touring the U.S. from 1994 to ’95 and was skedded to bow at the St. James Theater with star Tommy Tune. Tune broke his foot, resulting in a cancellation for the Rialto version.
The new production will be announced this afternoonon board the Queen Mary 2. “Busker Alley” differs from traditional Broadway fare, since it’s neither a new revival nor a transfer, but a full production ready to run. The show got a test-drive in November with a one-night-only benefit performance and is now jockeying for a New York position.
Book is by AJ Carothers, based on the 1938 Brit pic “St. Martin’s Lane,” which starred Charles Laughton and Vivien Leigh. That film was based on Marlene Dietrich starrer “The Blue Angel,” and both were inspired by Heinrich Mann’s early 20th century novel, “Small Town Tyrant.”
The 16-person (plus dog) cast has Tony winner and “Pushing Daisies” narrator Jim Dale attached to star, with Tony Walton directing. Producer Margot Astrachan said the benefit perf was instrumental in cementing her interest in the show. “I knew when I read the script that we wanted to see it, but it was everything we could have imagined,” she said.
Astrachan is joined by five other producers thus far, including “Little Women” producer Heather Duke.