Broadway’s Dana Ivey, Brad Oscar, Nicholas Barasch, and Luca Padovan, will join the previously announced Lesley Ann Warren and Joyce Bulifant in a staged concert version of the 1967 Disney movie musical, The Happiest Millionaire, that will be presented December 3 in New York City as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Both Warren, who starred in the 1965 TV broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, and Bulifant (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Airplane!), had roles in the original film.
The 50th anniversary concert performances will take place at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in New York City at 7 and 9:30 PM.
Warren will recreate her performance as Cordy Biddle, a headstrong young woman who struggles to find her own way in the household of her wealthy but eccentric father in 1916 Philadelphia. She will share the role with Cherish Myers (Mary Poppins). Bulifant played Rosemary in the film.
Ivey (Sunday in the Park with George) is set to appear as Aunt Mary; two-time Tony Award nominee Oscar (The Producers, Something Rotten!) as eccentric amateur boxer and alligator collector Anthony J. Drexel Biddle; Barasch (She Loves Me) as love interest Angier Buchanan Duke; Padovan (School of Rock) as Livingston Biddle; plus Sam Poon (The King and I) as Tony Biddle.
The score was written by Richard and Robert Sherman, songwriters of Mary Poppins. The film also featured Tommy Steele, Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Geraldine Page, and John Davidson. It was the last Disney movie personally overseen by company founder Walt Disney before his death.
Warren earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as a gangster’s moll in the 1982 Blake Edwards film Victor/Victoria. She made a handful of Broadway appearances, including creating the role of Snookie in 110 in the Shade. She has worked steadily through the years in film and TV, including a stint on Desperate Housewives (2005–2011). She won a Golden Globe award in 1977 for her performance in Harold Robbins’ 79 Park Avenue.
After two brief early career appearances on Broadway, Bulifant had a long career in TV dramas and sitcoms, including regular stints as Marie Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Marsha Patterson on The Bill Cosby Show.
The Happiest Millionaire has been adapted to the concert stage by Doug Thompson and Alex Beck, from the screenplay by A.J. Carothers. The concert is being produced by Doug Thompson and Brice Corder with direction by Alex Beck, musical staging by Jason Wise and musical direction by Mark Hartman.