On Friday, December 7, TheatreWorks New Milford will debut the hilarious musical tribute written in the spirit of “Forbidden Broadway,” THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS (THE MUSICAL!) with music by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by JoAnne Bogart, and book by Rockwell and Bogart. Curtain goes up at 8:00 p.m. on this five-week run.
In this comic satire of musical theatre genres, one story becomes five musicals. Poor June can’t pay her rent and must face her evil landlord. How would Rodgers and Hammerstein envision the story? Perhaps in Kansas in August, with a Dream Ballet. Would Stephen Sondheim present the landlord as a tortured, artistic genius who slashes tenants’ throats in revenge because they don’t appreciate art? Jerry Herman’s version may be a splashy star vehicle, AndrewLloyd Webber’s a rock musical, and Kander and Ebb’s set in a seedy Cabaret in Chicago. It’s as complete, and as funny, as any musical tribute can get.
“There is no doubt that this show is a must-see for any musical theatre aficionado,” said director Bradford Blake of Danbury, who is also acting as musical director, choreographer, and set designer. “However, even if you’re not a musical theatre buff, you’ll love the show because it’s hilarious, clever, and with enough well known recognizable musical references for everyone. If you know Oklahoma!, Cabaret, and Hello Dolly, even just a little, you’re already off to a hilarious start and in for a laugh-filled night.”
“We’ve got four actors, playing too many characters to count, enacting a simple plot in five different musical styles,” said producer Glenn R. Couture of Ansonia. “But the entertainment value, as in many ‘actual’ musicals, lies not in the storyline but in the presentation. And the presentation and talent in this production are outstanding and a laugh-riot. What’s more, the styles of the composers aren’t so much ‘spoofed’ as they are honored. So the show’s comedy is one of reverence, rather than contempt, for musicals…keeping it light and fun.”
The cast features four of the area’s finest actors: Tom Denihan (Woodbury), JoNathan Jacobson (Litchfield), and Jessica Smith and Priscilla Squiers (both Danbury).
Besides Couture, the show’s production crew consists of lighting designers Scott Wyshynski and Richard Pettibone, sound and projection designer Tom Libonate, and stage management by Jill Pace and Kathy Bolster.
MUSCIAL OF MUSICALS made its New York premiere on December 16, 2003 at the York Theatre at St. Peter’s and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. The show enjoyed another Off-Broadway run in 2005 and debuted on London’s West End in 2006. The New York Daily News said, “The zany, affectionate humor of ‘Musical’ keeps you laughing from start to finish. It lifts your spirits in the manner of an old-fashioned musical.”
THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS (THE MUSICAL!) runs December 7,8 14,15,16 21,22 28,29 31 and Jan 4,5. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on December 16. Tickets for all shows are $28 for reserved seating. On New Year’s Eve, December 31, at 8:00 p.m. there will be one gala fundraising performance with hors d’oeuvres and an open bar of wine, beer, and soft drinks. Tickets for this event are $75.
On Thursday, December 6, senior citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks’ Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, you name the price for your ticket.
Reservations can be made online at WWW.THEATREWORKS.US or by calling the box office at (860) 350-6863.