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Drew Carey dances his way into 'Geppetto'

Rene Auberjonois and Drew Carey dance in "Geppetto"

July 15, 1999
Web posted at: 2:05 p.m. EDT (1805 GMT)

From Sherri Sylvester
CNN Entertainment News Correspondent

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Disney is hoping the time is right for "Pinocchio" to nose his way out of the woodwork once again. The company is putting together a live-action version of the classic tale called "Geppetto." Drew Carey plays the title role.

"It's a whole story told from Geppetto's point of view, so it's the whole same story up until Pinocchio runs away," Carey says. "Then we don't follow Pinocchio, we stay with Geppetto (the toy maker) as he looks for the son."

Nine-year-old Seth Adkins (he played a Slovakian kid in "Titanic") here takes the role of the runaway puppet-boy. Other members of the cast include Rene Auberjonois of "Deep Space Nine" and Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Seinfeld." The project is jam-packed with musical numbers, written by award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz ("Godspell," "Pippin," "The Prince of Egypt," "Pocahontas").

Geppetto sings to Pinocchio, played by young Seth Adkins

No wooden performances

"Four songs, plus a duet with Julia Louis-Dreyfus," says Carey. "And I took singing lessons before, for about a month, for 'The Drew Carey Show.' Then I took them some more since January for this. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has a great voice, and I was just like, 'I'd better start stepping up, man.' So I took all these singing lessons and I hope they paid off."

Louis-Dreyfus plays the Blue Fairy, who brings Pinocchio to life. And unlike Elaine, her "Seinfeld" character, she can sing and dance.

She describes their performances as "sort of Fred and Ginger-y." But Carey says it's more like "Fred Mertz ('I Love Lucy') and Ginger from 'Gilligan's Island-y.'"

Some of the trickiest moves might involve moments when Louis-Dreyfus is flown into her scenes in a multi-layered, bejeweled gown.

"It's a huge, nasty-looking harness that you have to wear," she says, "and they're going to fly me in this. And I'm going to try to look as dainty and flow-y as possible."

"Geppetto" is slated to air on ABC's "Wonderful World Of Disney" in the spring.

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