Los Angeles Times

Rock band Chicago eyes Broadway show

Tribune arts reporter

The rock band Chicago is the latest musical icon to become involved in a Broadway musical. The producer says he wants to open the show in Chicago in 2005 and then head for Broadway.

According to Richard Akins, currently based in Princeton, N.J., a new musical called "Colour My World," named after Chicago's 1971 ballad, is in the preparatory stages. Akins, who once ran the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre in Jupiter, Fla., is producing it with his wife, Janina. The completed book is by Jeff Arch, who penned the script to "Sleepless in Seattle."

Akins says he was able to secure the group's cooperation due to a friendship that extends back to 1968.

"In my heart of hearts, I want to open it at Shubert Theatre," Akins said. "That's where it belongs."

But these are early days. Akins and Broadway in Chicago have yet to iron out a deal.

Second City is shaking up its management.

According to co-owner and executive producer Andrew Alexander, Kelly Leonard left his post last week as producer of the Chicago-based comedy theater. Leonard, 37, will assume new duties as president of Second City Theatricals.

In the new position, Leonard will spend his time creating new musicals and other legitimate theater for the resident and touring markets. He also will become a vice president of Second City Inc., the private company that controls the Second City brand.

"Kelly will be heading up our major opportunity for growth," Alexander said.

Leonard will be replaced by Robin Johnson, the former associate producer. Johnson assumes day-to-day responsibility for the creative direction of the Chicago revues.

The Goodman Theatre has announced that Scott Glenn, the veteran movie actor, has joined the cast for its production of Arthur Miller's "Finishing the Picture."

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