A Revised What Makes Sammy Run? Heads Off-Bway, Jan. 19-29
An Equity showcase production, What Makes Sammy Run? will be tighter, darker and grittier than the original 1964 Broadway production, in keeping with the tone of the musical's source material--Budd Schulberg's 1941 novel about a ruthless Hollywood schemer who steps on many toes to climb to the top as a Hollywood executive. With music and lyrics by Ervin Drake (Her First Roman), and a book by Budd and Stuart Schulberg, the new staging will feature a libretto revised by Robert Armin, who also directs the show. Armin has been working on the project for a few years, and a concert of the show (using the revised script) was presented in Hempstead, Long Island in 2003.
In addition to the revised book, What Makes Sammy Run? will cut the dancing ensemble as well as some minor characters (although Rosalie Goldbaum and Billie Rand, from Schulberg's novel, have been added). There is a new opening sequence, several dance numbers have been excised, and the more sophisticated pre-production lyrics to the song "I See Something" have been added back, among other lyrical changes. A few new songs, such as "I Can Trust Him" and "Mother of All the Blues," have also been put into the show.
"We were deprived of staging a tougher show by the producer, Joe Cates, who felt it would not appeal to the audience of that time. Both the script and the songs were softened and Steve Lawrence's 'Sammy' was played fetchingly. The audiences loved him, but we felt the novel had been betrayed," stated Drake.
The new staging of What Makes Sammy Run? will feature Carl Anthony Tramon as Sammy Glick, Moira Stone as Kit Sargent, Larry Daggett as Al Manheim and Kristin McLaughlin as Laurette Harrington, Darron Cardosa as Julian Blumberg, Jessica Luck as Rosalie and Billie, Jeffrey Farber as Sidney Fineman and Ben Osbourne, Steven Patterson as O'Brien and H.L. Harrington, Matthew-Lee Erlbach as Sheik and Selby Brown as Lucky and Izzy. The creative team will also comprise musical director Richard Danley and choreographer Jack Dyville.
What Makes Sammy Run? opened at the 54th Street Theatre on February 27th, 1964 and ran for 540 performances. Steve Lawrence netted a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the title role, while the musical also featured Robert Alda and in her Broadway debut, director-choreographer Graciela Daniele, who is currently represented on Broadway by Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life.
What Makes Sammy Run?'s performance schedule is Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 2:30 PM. Tickets can be ordered at SmartTix.com or by calling (212) 868-4444. For more information, visit www.whatmakessammyrun.net.