Two-time Tony nominee and Grammy and Emmy winner Harry Connick Jr. will return to Broadway in what’s being billed as “a re-imagined production” of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Re-conceived and directed by Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), the musical will open in fall 2011 at a theater to be announced. Further casting and creative team members will be announced shortly.
On a Clear Day features a Tony-nominated score by Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane. The Broadway revival will have a new book by Peter Parnell, based on the original book by Lerner. The tuner centers on Dr. Mark Bruckner (Connick), a dashing psychiatrist and professor still in love with his late wife. When he hypnotizes a quirky florists’ assistant named David Gamble (to help him quit smoking so he can move in with his perfect boyfriend, Warren), Dr. Bruckner stumbles upon what he believes to be David’s former self, a dazzling and self-possessed 1940s jazz singer named Melinda Wells. The doctor finds himself swept up in the pursuit of an irresistible and impossible love affair with this woman from another time and place, who may or may not have ever existed.
On a Clear Day originally opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on October 17, 1965, and starred Barbara Harris as Daisy Gamble (the role that will now become David) and John Cullum as Dr. Mark Bruckner. In 1970, it was adapted into a film directed by Vincente Minnelli, which starred Barbra Streisand and Yves Montand.
Mayer and Parnell’s new version includes much of the original 1965 score, including the classic hits “Come Back to Me,” “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have Now?,” “She Isn’t You,” and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” while adding songs from the film score such as “Love With All the Trimmings” and “Go to Sleep.” Songs from the Lerner and Lane score for the film Royal Wedding such as “Ev’ry Night at Seven,” “You’re All the World to Me,” “Open Your Eyes” and “Too Late Now” have also been added to the show.
The Broadway-bound production had a developmental workshop at the Vineyard Theatre in the fall of 2009 followed by a series of concert readings at New York Stage and Film and Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater in the summer of 2010. The full production, originally scheduled to debut at the Vineyard in February 2011, will now debut on Broadway in the fall.
Connick received Tony nominations for his performance in the Broadway revival of The Pajama Game and for writing the music and lyrics for Thou Shalt Not. He most recently headlined a sold-out Broadway concert run at the Neil Simon Theatre, which was recorded for DVD release and will air on PBS on March 2. As a recording artist, Connick has released 25 albums that have sold more than 25 million copies. As an actor, he has appeared in the films Memphis Belle, Little Man Tate, My Dog Skip and New in Town, among others, and had a recurring role in TV’s Will & Grace.
Originating producer Liza Lerner joins with Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman and Broadway Across America to bring On a Clear Day You Can See Forever to Broadway.