9 to 5: The Musical is a stage musical with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and a book by Patricia Resnick, based on the 1980 movie Nine to Five. Resnick had co-written the screenplay with Colin Higgins, the director of the film, in which Parton had her first screen role.
The musical premiered at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in September 2008 and opened on Broadway on April 30, 2009. It was nominated for 15Drama Desk Awards, the most received by a production in a single year. It was also nominated for four Tony Awards. The Broadway production closed on September 6, 2009, and a National Tour began in September 2010.
A reading of the musical was given on January 19, 2007, with a cast including Tracey Ullman, Allison Janney, Megan Hilty, Stephanie J Block, Norm Lewis, Marc Kudisch, Amy Hohn, and a supporting ensemble. A revised draft was tested in a week-long workshop beginning on June 20, 2007, with an industry presentation in New York City on June 28, 2007. The workshop cast included the previously mentioned performers, along with Bebe Neuwirth and Andy Karl.
The musical began previews on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre on April 7, 2009, and officially opened on April 30, 2009. Joe Mantello is the director, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Jules Fisher and Kenneth Posner, and projection design by Peter Nigrini and Peggy Eisenhauer. The opening night cast included Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, Megan Hilty, and Marc Kudisch. 9 to 5 closed on September 6, 2009, after 148 performances and 24 previews.
Following the Broadway opening, Ben Brantley of the New York Times described the show as an "overinflated whoopee cushion" and a "gaudy, empty musical" that "piles on the flashy accessories like a prerecession hedge funder run amok at Barney’s." He thought the stage adaptation turns its "feminist revenge story into an occasion for lewd slapstick (which feels about as up-to-date as the 1940s burlesque revue Hellzapoppin) and a mail-order catalog of big production numbers, filtered through that joyless aesthetic that pervaded the 1970s." He added, "The comic sensibility certainly feels vintage, rather in the smirky mode of sitcoms like Three's Company. The governing philosophy seems to be that it’s O.K. to leer if you wink at your own prurience... That’s true of much of the show. Its broad flirtation with tastelessness reminds you of how stylishly Mel Brooks played with brazen vulgarity in The Producers."
Ed Pilkington of The Guardian called the stage adaptation "a triumph" and praised Parton, describing her as "the real star of the show" and adding, "She is not on stage, but her presence fills it. She has composed a set of songs, accompanied with her own lyrics, that complement the original song. The greatest triumph of the night was that the film has been reinvented as a musical so successfully. It seemed improbable, given the cult status of the movie, but the stage show has met it and raised it, rather than being its pale imitation."
Opening number (lots of hoots and hollers from the audience):
Oh, Boy! is a musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse. The story concerns befuddled George, who elopes with Lou Ellen, the daughter of Judge Carter. He must win over her parents and his Quaker aunt. His dapper polo champion friend Jim is in love with madcap actress Jackie, but she must extricate herself from a scrape with a bumbling constable whom she punched at a party raid.
The piece was the most successful of the "Princess Theatre Musicals", opening in February 1917 and transferring to the Casino Theatre in November 1917 to finish its Broadway run of 463 performances. A London production played at the Kingsway Theatre in 1919, running for 167 performances. A silent film version was also produced in 1919.
Early in the 20th century, American musical theatre consisted of a mix of elaborate European operettas, like The Merry Widow (1907), British musical comedy imports, like The Arcadians (1910), George M. Cohan's shows, American operettas, like those of Victor Herbert, ragtime-infused American musicals, and the spectacular revues of Florenz Ziegfeld and others. But as Cohan's and Herbert's creative output waned, new creative talent was being nurtured on Broadway, including Jerome Kern George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Sigmund Romberg. Kern began by revising British musicals to suit American audiences, adding songs that "have a timeless, distinctly American sound that redefined the Broadway showtune."
The Princess Theatre was a simply designed, 299-seat Broadway theatre that had failed to attract successful productions because of its small size. Theatre agent Elisabeth Marbury asked Kern and Bolton to write a series of musicals specifically tailored to its smaller setting, with an intimate style and modest budgets, that would provide an alternative to the star-studded extravaganzas of Ziegfeld and others. Kern and Bolton's first Princess Theatre musical was Nobody's Home (1915), an adaptation of a London show called Mr. Popple of Ippleton. Their second, with Wodehouse, was an original musical called Very Good Eddie (1915). The little show ran for 314 performances on a modest budget. Oh, Boy!, like the first two Princess Theatre shows, featured modern American settings and simple scene changes (one set for each act) to more aptly suit the small theatre, eschewing operetta traditions of foreign locales and elaborate scenery.
Oh, Boy! premiered on February 20, 1917 at the Princess Theatre in New York City and ran 463 performances (the last few months at the Casino Theatre), making it the third-longest running Broadway musical in the 1910s. It was produced by William Elliott and F. Ray Comstock. Staging was by Edward Royce, orchestrations were done by Frank Saddler, and the orchestra was conducted by Max Hirschfeld. Scenery was designed by D. M. Aiken, and costumes were designed by Faibsey.
Recording from the original production:
Oh, Brother!, music by Michael Valenti, lyrics by Donald Driver and book/libretto by Donald Driver. It opened on November 10, 1981 and ran for 3 performances. The cast featured: Judy Kaye, Bruce Adler, Harry Groener, David Carroll, Joe Morton, Larry Marshall and Mary Mastrantonio.
Oh, Brother! takes place during a revolution in an oil rich Middle Eastern country on the Persian Gulf in a quaint resort town where its populace of merchants and revolutionaries mix Easter tradition with Western consumerism.
Into this volatile environment unwittingly stumbles a sweet old American named Lew. He is immediately surrounded by revolutionaries demanding he explain his presence. Lew tells this story: years ago, travelling in the Middle East with his wife, Lillian, she gave birth to identical twin boys. At the same time a dear black woman also gave birth to identical twin boys, but she died. Lew and Lillian adopted the orphaned twin boys to raise as brothers to their own. When Lillian was well they booked separate flights for home, separate flights to lessen the chance an air disaster might again orphan any of their infant songs. Each parent took one twin from each set and departed for home. Disaster Struck! The plane on which Lillian and her two charges were flying was hijacked to Iraq. Lew tried to find them, but he never saw Lillian or the two boys again. When Lew's two boys grew to manhood, curious about their lost twins they prevailed upon old Lew to let them search the world to find them. Lew consented. That was two years ago. Now they are lost and he is searching for them.
The New York Times review by Frank Rich:
''OH, BROTHER!,'' the new musical at the ANTA, desperately wants to be ''A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.'' It also wouldn't mind being ''The Boys From Syracuse,'' the musical version of ''Two Gentlemen of Verona'' or maybe even ''Milk and Honey.'' In the end - or, for that matter, in the beginning - it has to settle for being a spectacularly silly Las Vegas floor show. But ''Oh, Brother!'' tries. Oh, brother, does it try.
This musical is not without its resources. The cast, though often wasted, is an able one, full of talented, appealing young performers. ''Oh, Brother!'' also introduces to Broadway a composer, Michael Valenti, from whom we'll want to hear again. Though there's nothing startling about Mr. Valenti's music, he writes solid, at times pretty, show tunes. His score is in good hands, too. The voices are sprightly, as are Jim Tyler's orchestrations and Marvin Laird's conducting and vocal arrangements. What's more, ''Oh, Brother!'' may be the only current Broadway musical that is discreetly amplified: we hear music instead of an electronic buzz. Let other producers note that this show's sound system was designed by Richard Fitzgerald.
The rest of ''Oh, Brother!'' - its book, lyrics, direction and ''staging'' - is the work of Donald Driver. With the exception of the lyrics, which are adequate, Mr. Driver's contributions encase the show in cement. It is his idea to reset a Plautus-Shakespeare longlost brothers farce in the contemporary Middle East, and a most misguided idea it is.
What's funny about the Middle East today? Not much - unless you want to be completely tasteless. Mr. Driver allows himself to be tasteless once -when he drags on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for burlesque gags - but otherwise he avoids pointed allusions to present-day Middle East headlines like the plague. It's hard to blame him, but why bother to set a show in a region where there's no room, right now, for humor? Thanks to its concept, ''Oh, Brother!'' is crippled before it even begins.
Because he can't bite any satirical teeth into his topical setting, Mr. Driver loads the show instead with hoary double-entendre gags and stale parodies of Hollywood's old Arabian Nights movies. These mirthless jokes wouldn't make it into the worst sketches of a Mel Brooks film or ''Sugar Babies''; some of them look and sound as though they were culled from 15-year-old back issues of Mad magazine. Nor does the farcical plot bail the book out. Unlike Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, who wrote the superlative libretto for ''Forum,'' Mr. Driver doesn't know how to pace or build his convoluted story of mistaken identities - it's all conveyed frenetically in the same numbing shriek.
The direction is of the same style. Mr. Driver has staged this show at a speed that kills. ''Oh, Brother!'' runs one hour and 45 minutes with no intermission, and the actors are running the whole time. Energy is one thing -a relay race is another. Whiplash direction, much of it modeled on ''Three Stooges'' comedies, is not a substitute for well-written fun. After a while, we look forward to the musical numbers not only because we want to hear Mr. Valenti's score, but also so those poor schnooks on stage will have a chance to catch their breath.
The choreography, which puts great store in the humorous possibilities of belly dancing, is at a college revue level. There isn't much room for it, in any case, because the routine unit set, by Michael J. Hotopp and Paul De Pass, limits flat stage space to a downstage strip slightly larger than a beach towel. That's unfortunate, because there are some very nimble dancers on hand. Given a few small opportunities, Harry Groener reminds us of the charming, lighter-than-air Will Parker he contributed to the last Broadway revival of ''Oklahoma!'' Alan Weeks, short and compact, could have been Gene Kelly to his Ray Bolger.
Among the other likable cast members are Joe Morton, Mary Mastrantonio, Larry Marshall and David-James Carroll. Richard B. Shull, that amusing character actor who looks like a bloated fish, gets to contribute a few skillful slow burns in the role of a middle-aged tourist. Judy Kaye, while getting campier each time out, remains a big belter with a sure comic sense. Though she can't quite stop this relentlessly frantic show, perhaps nothing short of a Camp David pact could.
Oh Captain!, A Musical Comedy in 2 Acts. Book by Al Morgan and Jose Ferrer. Based on an original screenplay ("The Captain's Paradise") by Alec Coppel. Music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Opened 4 February, 1958. closed 19 July 1958 (192 performances). Described by Frank Aston in the World Telegram and Sun as a "splendiferous, gaudy, songful, comical, dancing joy that happens none too often!, José Ferrer's production of Oh, Captain! had smooth sailing all the way. It was the outstanding musical success of the Philadelphia season, and found New Yorkers equally eager to absorb its high spirits and salty humours. With no aim other than entertainment, it instantly became one of Broadway's biggest hits and seems securely berthed at the Alvin Theatre for many months to come."
Based on the film The Captain's Paradise, which starred Alec Guinness as a philandering ship's captain, with a wife in one port and a mistress in another. The musical starred Tony Randall, and updated the film's Gibraltar and Algiers setting to London and Paris. The score was by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, with direction by José Ferrer. The production was dismissed by the critics as a "tired businessman's show", but the cast and choreography were much praised. The highlight of the show was an extended dance sequence between Randall and prima ballerina Alexandra Danilova that has been referred to by musical theatre historians as perhaps the best number ever staged in a post-war musical.
The original cast included Abbe Lane, Susan Johnson, Jacquelyn McKeever, Edward Platt, Paul Valentine, and Stanley Carlson. Abbe Lane was under contract to a rival studio, which refused to allow her to record the original cast album. Her songs were recorded by Eileen Rodgers. Lane did record two of her numbers on one of her subsequent solo albums.
Oh, Coward! is a musical revue in two acts devised by Roderick Cook and containing music and lyrics by Noël Coward. The revue consists of two men and one woman in formal dress, performing songs based on the following themes: England, family album, travel, theatre, love and women. There are also sketches, such as "London Pastoral" which tells of the joys of London in the spring, "Family Album" about relatives who "were not excessively bright", and a scene with excerpts from several of Coward's plays, such as Private Lives. It ran Off-Broadway in 1972, in London in 1975 and on Broadway in 1986. Also in 1972 a revue along similar lines, Cowardy Custard played in London.
The revue premiered Off-Broadway on October 4, 1972 and was one of the last Noël Coward shows staged during his life. It played for 294 performances at the New Theatre. Its cast included Barbara Cason, Jamie Ross and Roderick Cook, who also directed the revue. A London production opened on 5 June 1975 at the Criterion Theatre, starring Cook, Ross and Geraldine McEwan, and ran until 2 August 1975. The show later played on Broadway beginning on November 17, 1986 at the Helen Hayes Theatre, where it ran for 56 performances. Again directed by and starring Cook, the cast also featured Catherine Cox and Patrick Quinn. The production received two Tony Award nominations, Best Actor and Actress in a Musical for Cook and Cox.
Of the London production, Michael Billington of The Guardian wrote, "the star performer is undeniably Mr Cook himself... with a dangerous tooth-baring smile... he delivers each syllable of each song with a clinical, omniscient precision. Geraldine McEwan, willowy and acidulous in white satin, likewise realises that merciless articulation is the key to Coward performing, and Jamie Ross amiably makes up the trio in the manner of someone completing a country house party." The New York Times review of the 1986 production noted, "The performance is determinedly low-key and genteel, in keeping with its source. Neither in the selection of material nor in the performances does the show overstep into self-parody, as is often the case in other musical anthologies. As before, Mr. Cook lets Coward speak and sing for himself, which he does, trippingly."
Oh, Kay! is a musical with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and a book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse. It is based on the play La Presidente by Maurice Hanniquin and Pierre Veber. The plot revolves around the adventures of the Duke of Durham and his sister, Lady Kay, English bootleggers in Prohibition Era America. Kay finds herself falling in love with a man who seems unavailable.
Oh Kay! was named for Kay Swift, and the leading male character is named Jimmy after her husband, Jimmy Warburg. It opened on Broadway at in 1926, starring Gertrude Lawrence and Victor Moore, and ran for 256 performances. The musical opened on the West End in 1927. This production starred Gertrude Lawrence and John Kirby, and ran for 213 performances.
Producers Alex A. Aarons and Vinton Freedly imagined Oh, Kay! as a Princess Theatre-style show, with a contemporary setting, simple sets, and a farcical story. Gertrude Lawrence, who had been featured in the Andre Charlot Revues of 1924 and 1925, was chosen as the star before the songs or story had been written. In accordance with the typical creative process for early American musicals, George and Ira Gershwin wrote the score to Oh, Kay! before the librettists, Bolton and Wodehouse, began work on the book. When the book was completed, eight songs from the Gershwins' score were cut because they could not be easily inserted into the libretto.
The story aptly captured the spirit of the Roaring Twenties, featuring settings and characters familiar to theatre audiences: a decadent Long Island mansion and notorious (but comic) bootleggers. During rehearsals, George Gershwin purchased a rag doll in a Philadelphia toy store. The ballad, "Someone To Watch Over Me", was staged with Lawrence alone on stage, clutching the doll and singing to it. It was the hit song of the show and became a Gershwin standard.
Oh, Kay! premiered on November 8, 1926, at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway and ran for 256 performances. In London, it played at His Majesty's Theatre, opening on September 21, 1927, and ran for 213 performances.
It was revived at the Century Theatre in 1928. It was revived Off-Broadway in 1960, and a 1990 revival played at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. In 1997 a Discovering Lost Musicals concert version played at the Barbican Centre in London, using the original script (with Louise Gold in the title role). There have been other British productions, including a 1984 production at Chichester, directed by Ian Judge and starring Jane Carr as Kay and Michael Siberry as Jimmy. Jane How, Edward Hibbert and Gareth Valentine were also featured. Oh, Kay! was made into a silent film in 1928. but never into a sound motion picture.
A recording from the 1927 London production:
Oh, Look! Book by James Montgomery; Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy; Music by Harry Carroll. Opening: Mar 7, 1918 Closing: May 4, 1918 Total Performances:68.
Oh, My Dear!, a musical comedy. Opening: Nov 27, 1918. Closing: May 10, 1919 Total Performances: 189
Oh, Please, a Musical, Farce, Revue. Book by Maurice Hennequin, Pierre Veber. Opening: Dec 17, 1926 Closing: Feb 1927 Total Performances:75. Cast: Beatrice Lillie
On the Town is a musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, based on Jerome Robbins' idea for his 1944 ballet Fancy Free, which he had set to Bernstein's music. The musical introduced several popular and classic songs, among them "New York, New York", "Lonely Town", "I Can Cook, Too", and "Some Other Time". The story concerns three American sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City during wartime 1944. Each of the three sailors becomes enamored of a particular woman — and of the city itself.
On the Town was first produced on Broadway in 1944 and was made into a film in 1949 - although the film replaced all but three of the original Broadway songs with Hollywood-written substitutes. The show has enjoyed a number of major revivals. The musical integrates dance into its storytelling: Robbins made a number of ballets and extended dance sequences for the show, including the "Imaginary Coney Island" ballet.
The Jerome Robbins ballet "Fancy Free" (1944), with music by Leonard Bernstein, was a hit for the American Ballet Theatre, and Oliver Smith (the set designer) and his business partner, Paul Feigay, thought that the ballet could be turned into a Broadway musical. They convinced Robbins and Bernstein, who in turn wanted their friends Comden and Green to write the book and lyrics. When the director George Abbott was added to the project funding was secured, including from the movie studio MGM in return for the film rights.
On the Town premiered on Broadway at the Adelphi Theater on December 28, 1944, directed by George Abbott and with choreography by Jerome Robbins. It closed on February 2, 1946, after 462 performances. The production starred John Battles(Gabey), Cris Alexander (Chip), Nancy Walker (Hildy), Sono Osato (Ivy), Betty Comden (Claire), and Adolph Green (Ozzie). The musical director was Max Goberman.
The first Broadway revival opened at the Imperial Theatre on October 31, 1971, and closed on Jan 1, 1972 after 73 performances. Donna McKechnie, Phyllis Newman, and Bernadette Peters co-starred as Ivy, Claire, and Hildy. The director and choreographer wasRon Field. Peters received a nomination for the 1972 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
The second Broadway revival opened on November 19, 1998, and ran for 69 performances. This began as a summer production of the Public Theater; the show made use of its venue, Central Park's Delacorte Theater in beguiling ways that led critics to disparage the subsequent theater-bound Broadway edition as lifeless and bland by comparison Le.a Delaria's performance as Hildy the taxi driver (and especially her all-stops-out rendition of "I Can Cook, Too") won wide praise, with Ben Brantley writing "Working through the saucy double-entendres and scat embellishments of I Can Cook Too, Hildy's mating call of a solo, Ms. DeLaria makes an obliging captive of anyone watching her." That was not, however, on its own enough to extend the show's brief run. Mary Testa was nominated for the 1999 Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical; Lea Delaria was nominated for the Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical and won the Theatre World Award.
Although both of the show's Broadway revivals had their admirers, neither was commercially successful.
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux. The music was composed by Lloyd Webber, and most lyrics were written by Charles Hart. Additional lyrics were written by Richard Stilgoe. Alan Jay Lerner was an early collaborator, but he withdrew after completing work on a single song, Masquerade, and died shortly thereafter.
The central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius.
The Phantom of the Opera opened in the West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It is the longest-running musical in Broadway history, the second-longest-running West End musical, and arguably the world's most financially successful single entertainment project to date.
Phantom won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford won the 1986 Olivier and 1988 Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. The show has been seen in 149 cities in 25 countries, and has played to over 100 million people. With total worldwide box office receipts of over £3.5bn ($5.1bn), Phantom is the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time. The New York production alone has grossed US $715 million, making it the most financially successful Broadway show in history.
Inspired by an earlier musical version of the same story by Ken Hill, Phantom began previews at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End on September 27, 1986 and opened on October 9 under the direction of Hal Prince. It was choreographed by Gillian Lynne and the sets were designed by Maria Björnson, with lighting by Andrew Bridge.
Michael Crawford starred as the titular character, Sarah Brightman as Christine, and Steve Barton as Raoul. The show is still playing at Her Majesty's, celebrating its 24th anniversary in October 2010, and celebrated its 10,000th performance at the matinee on 23rd October, 2010; both Andrew Lloyd Webber and the original Phantom, Michael Crawford, were in attendance. It is the second longest-running West End musical in history behind Les Miserables
Phantom began Broadway previews at the Majestic Theatre on January 9, 1988 and opened on January 26. Crawford, Brightman and Barton reprised their respective roles from the London production. In 2009 the Broadway production marked its nine thousandth performance and is currently the longest-running musical in Broadway history celebrating 23 years in January of 2011.
Portofino is a musical with a book by Richard Ney, lyrics by Ney and Sheldon Harnick, and music by Louis Bellson and Will Irwin.
Set in a piazza in the Italian resort town of Portofino, the convoluted plot involves auto-racing duke Nicky; his Texan rival Kitty; his granddaughter Angela, a practicing witch; the local padre; and his look-alike Guido, an emissary from the devil. Ney, an unsuccessful actor once married to Greer Garson, was also the show's sole producer. When the critics crucified it during its Philadelphia tryout, he democratically left it to the cast to decide if they should continue to New York City. They voted to go.
The Broadway production, directed by Karl Genus and choreographed by Charles Weidman and Ray Harrison, opened on February 21, 1958 at the Adelphi Theatre, where it ran for three performances. The cast included Georges Guétary as Nicky, Helen Gallagher as Kitty, Jan Chaney as Angela, and Robert Strauss as both the padre and Guido.
Gallagher later was quoted as saying the three performances of Portofino were "the longest . . . of my life."
Ride the Winds, a musical in two acts set on a mountain road around a monastery in a feudal country in the Far East with a book by John Driver, lyrics by John Driver and music by John Driver. Preview: May 9, 1974 Total Previews: 8 Opening: May 16, 1974 Closing: May 18, 1974 Total Performances: 3. The cast featured Sab Shimono.
The Rink is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander, the tenth Kander and Ebb collaboration.
The musical focuses on Anna, the owner of a dilapidated roller skating rink on the boardwalk of a decaying seaside resort, who has decided to sell it to developers. Complicating her plans are her prodigal daughter Angel, who returns to town seeking to reconnect with the people and places she long ago left behind. Through a series of flashbacks, revelations, and minimal forward-moving plot development, the two deal with their pasts in their attempt to reconcile and move on with their lives.
The musical began as a small off-Broadway musical with music by Kander and Ebb, the book by Albert Innaurato, and direction by Arthur Laurents, focusing on an Italian-American mother and her estranged daughter. As the project was not doing well, Terrence McNally was brought in to write the book and Laurents left. In place of the intimate musical, there were now a small male chorus and large sets.
The show opened on February 9, 1984 at the Martin Beck Theatre, where it ran for 204 performances and 29 previews. The Broadway production, directed by A. J. Antoon, set design by Peter Larkin, costume design by Theoni V. Aldredge, lighting design by Marc B. Weiss, sound design by Otts Munderloh, hair and make up by J. Roy Helland, musically directed by Paul Gemignani, dance arrangements by Tom Fay, orchestrations by Michael Gibson, and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, with assistant choreography by Tina Paul.
Despite the presence of box-office draws Liza Minnelli (as Angel) and Chita Rivera (as Anna), winner of the Tony Award, it could not overcome the mostly negative reviews. The cast also included Jason Alexander (Lino/Lenny/Punk/Uncle Fausto), Kim Hauser (Little Girl), Mel Johnson, Jr.(Buddy/Hiram/Mrs. Jackson/Charlie/Suitor/Junior Miller), Scott Holmes (Guy/Dino/Father Rocco/Debbie Duberman), Scott Ellis (Lucky/Sugar/Punk/Arnie/Suitor/Bobby Perillo/Danny/Additional singer), Frank Mastrocola (Tony/Tom/Punk/Suitor/Peter Reilly), Ronn Carroll (Ben/Dino's Father/Sister Philomena), and Rob Marshall (additional singers). Stockard Channing replaced Liza Minnelli later in the run.
In The New York Times, critic Frank Rich praised Rivera but described the show as "turgid" and "sour," filled with "phony, at times mean-spirited content" and "empty pretensions." Of the book, he wrote, "Mr. McNally is a smart and witty playwright, but you'd never know it from this synthetic effort. His dialogue is banal, and his characters are ciphers."
Reacting to the bad reviews, the show's composer, John Kander, commented that the show "was the most complete realization" of his intentions of any production he had done. Lyricist Fred Ebb agreed, asserting that "Every single element of it was exactly as we imagined. Up there on the stage were two of my best friends, Liza and Chita. It was an overwhelming experience; and when they weren't treated well, it was as if we had gotten attacked on the street.... That show hurt me more than any showI've written.... I felt that I had let them down."
Scene with Liza Minelli and Chita Rivera:
Romance/Romance is a musical with a book and lyrics by Barry Harman and music by Keith Herrmann.
The show is composed of two acts linked only by the common theme of love and one song performed in both acts.
The first, The Little Comedy, is based on a short story by Arthur Schnitzler and explores the budding relationship between two people who have adopted personas other than their own. Set in late 19th century Vienna, it focuses on Josefine, a demimonde weary of the social life provided by her upper class lovers, and wealthy playboy Alfred, who has tired of a seemingly endless round of inconsequential affairs. She assumes the guise of a working class woman, while he pretends to be a struggling poet, and the two meet while enjoying their new identities. Whether or not they can survive a weekend in the country with their usually glamorous trappings replaced by inedible food, bad wine, swarming insects, and total boredom is the question to be answered.
Summer Share, the second act based on Jules Renard's 1898 play Le pain de ménage, is updated to the late 1980s and set in The Hamptons, where two married couples in their thirties are spending the season in a rented cottage. Sam, who is married to Barb, and Monica, who is married to Lenny, find themselves gradually progressing from harmless flirtation to the serious possibility of an illicit affair.
Initially staged off-off-Broadway in 1987, Romance/Romance garnered critical notices that encouraged the move to a larger house uptown. After thirteen previews, the Broadway production, directed by Harman and choreographed by Pamela Sousa, opened on May 1, 1988 at the Helen Hayes Theatre, where it ran for 297 performances. The cast included Alison Fraser as Josefine/Monica, Scott Bakula as Alfred/Sam, Deborah Graham as Barb, and Robert Hoshour as Lenny. Barry Williams replaced Bakula later in the run.
Clip from the 1988 Tony Awards:
Ruthless! The Musical is an all
female musical with music by Marvin Laird and book and lyrics by Joel
Paley that spoofs Broadway musicals, like Gypsy and Mame, and movies
such as The Bad Seed and All About Eve. The musical
premiered Off-Broadway in 1992.