Jason Alexander to Lead Reprise's THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG, 9/28 - 10/10
Jason Alexander, artistic director of Reprise Theatre Company, will star in "They're Playing Our Song," September 28 to October 10 (press opening September 29) at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, to open the company's 2010-2011 season. Single tickets are available for "They're Playing Our Song" at www.reprise.org or through the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310/825-2101.
The musical - with book by Neil Simon, music by Marvin Hamlisch, and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager - will be directed by Lonny Price, who was a Tony nominee for his direction of "A Class Act" and won an Emmy Award for his direction of the PBS televised New York Philharmonic staging of "Sweeney Todd" starring Patti LuPone and George Hearn. He directed the Audra McDonald "110 in the Shade" on Broadway, and staged "Camelot" and "Candide" for the New York Philharmonic. "Candide" starred Ms. LuPone and Kristin Chenoweth, and was also broadcast on PBS.
Jason Alexander starred on Broadway in the original companies of "Merrily We Roll Along;" "The Rink;" "Broadway Bound;" "Accomplice;" and "Jerome Robbins' Broadway," for which he won the Tony, Outer Critics, and Drama Desk Awards as Best Actor in a Musical. He also authored the libretto of the show, which received the Tony Award for Best Musical. On the L.A. stage, Jason has starred in "Give ‘Em Hell, Harry;" "Defiled;" the long-running hit "The Producers" with Martin Short and the very first Reprise production, "Promises, Promises."
Christine Bernardi is Managing Director and Gilles Chiasson is Producing Director of Reprise Theatre Company.
Featuring book by Neil Simon, "They're Playing Our Song" follows the on-again, off-again romance of one very despondent composer and one very ditzy lyricist, as they try to create their own unique love song. Based on the real-life love affair of the show's composer, Marvin Hamlisch, and the show's lyricist, Carole Bayer-Sager, "They're Playing Our Song," ran 1,082 performances on Broadway.
After Sager and Hamlisch scored an international hit with "Nobody Does It Better" (the theme song from "The Spy Who Loved Me"), they began to work on a new musical based on some surprising subject matter -- their own romantic life -- with the most successful and popular playwright of the era, Neil Simon. They came up with an unusual, new form for a Broadway musical: a chamber musical with two main characters supported by a three-person Greek Chorus.
"They're Playing Our Song" had its world premiere as part of the Center Theatre Group series at the Ahmanson Theatre of the Music Center. It starred comic Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz, who made her Broadway debut in the role and went on to star in Reprise's inaugural season's "Wonderful Town" in 1997.
Carole Bayer Sager has written the lyrics for "Don't Cry Out Loud," "Everything Old is New Again," "Come in From the Rain," "Heartbreaker," and "That's What Friends Are For," and has collaborated with Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Peter Allen, Michael McDonald, and Burt Bacharach. In 1977 she was romantically involved with Marvin Hamlisch. Hamlisch followed winning three Academy Awards in 1973 for "The Way We Were" and the score of "The Sting", with the score for "A Chorus Line" which won nine 1975 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score for Hamlisch and lyricist Edward Kleban.
Jason Alexander is proud to be serving as Artistic Director for Reprise and is delighted to be working with its wonderful staff and Board of Directors. Jason is probably best known for his 9 year, award-winning stint as George Costanza on the hit TV series, "Seinfeld." However, those who know him only as George will be surprised to learn of his extensive background as an actor, director, producer, and writer. Besides "Seinfeld," his television credits include: "Bob Patterson" (prod./co-creator); "Listen Up" (prod.); the TV films of "Bye Bye Birdie," "The Man Who Saved Christmas," "Cinderella", and "A Christmas Carol;" guest appearances on "Newhart," "Friends," "Monk," "Star Trek-Voyager," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and multiple episodes of the animated series "Duckman," "Aladdin," "Dilbert," and "Dinosaurs." His film credits include: "Pretty Woman;" "White Palace;" "North;" "Dunston Checks In;" "Love, Valor, Compassion;" "Rocky and Bullwinkle," "Ira and Abby" and the upcoming, "Hachiko." Jason has directed in every medium: Television ("Seinfeld," "Remember WENN," "Campus Ladies," "Everybody Hates Chris"); Film ("For Better or Worse" and "Just Looking"); and Stage ("The God of Hell" at the Geffen; "Sunday In The Park With George" and the newly adapted "Damn Yankees" at Reprise and countless benefits). Jason produced the films, "Agent Cody Banks" and its sequel as well as the TV special "Ultimate Trek." He has also authored the children's book, "Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy?" He has won the title of Parlour Magician of the Year at the prestigious Magic Castle and he is a noted player on the celebrity poker circuit. Jason resides in L.A. with his wife Daena and their children, Gabriel and Noah.
Since its inception in 1997, Reprise Theatre Company has been a focus of the Los Angeles musical theatre community, producing productions of great American musicals, and a wide variety of concerts, staged-readings, special events and outreach programs. In May 2007, Jason Alexander became Artistic Director. Christine Bernardi is Managing Director and Gilles Chiasson is Producing Director of Reprise.
Since its inaugural production of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Promises, Promises," which starred Mr. Alexander, Reprise has brought to the stage vibrant productions from all eras of American musical theatre including the Gershwins' "Of Thee I Sing" and "Strike Up the Band," Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," and Rodgers and Hart's "The Boys from Syracuse" and "Babes in Arms," Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel," as well as Richard Rodgers' later "No Strings." The "Golden Era" has been well represented - Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg with "Finian's Rainbow," Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe with "Brigadoon," Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green with "On the Town" and "Wonderful Town," Irving Berlin with "Call Me Madam," Robert Wright and George Forrest with "Kismet," both of the Richard Adler and Jerry Ross musicals "The Pajama Game" and "Damn Yankees," Johnny Mercer and Gene dePaul with "Li'l Abner," Jule Styne with "Bells are Ringing," and Frank Loesser with "The Most Happy Fella" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
Musical theatre reached a new peak of popularity in the sixties, along with new creative talents, and Reprise has presented shows by many of them including Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt with "The Fantasticks," Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick with "She Loves Me," Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot's "Hair," Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone with "1776," Charles Adams and Lee Strouse with "Applause," Stephen Schwartz with "Pippin," Cy Coleman with "On the Twentieth Century" (libretto by Betty Comden and Adolph Green), "City of Angels" (lyrics by David Zippel), and "I Love My Wife" (libretto by Michael Stewart), Jerry Herman with "Mack and Mabel," Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's "Once on This Island," and four Stephen Sondheim musicals - "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Company," "Sweeney Todd," and "Sunday in the Park with George."
Many of the great stage performers working today, as well as those who make their residence primarily in Los Angeles, have appeared in Reprise shows including Scott Bakula, Christine Baranski, Brent Barrett, Orson Bean, Jodi Benson, Stephen Bogardus, Dan Butler, Len Cariou, Carolee Carmello, Vicki Carr, Patrick Cassidy, Anthony Crivello, Jason Danieley, Lea DeLaria, Cleavant Derricks, Manoel Feliciano, Rodney Gilfry, Kelsey Grammer, Josh Grisetti, Harry Groener, Bob Gunton, Sam Harris, Gregory Harrison, Simon Helberg, Mimi Hines, Judy Kaye, Jane Krakowski, Marc Kudish, Ledisi, Vicki Lewis, Judith Light, Rebecca Luker, Eric McCormack, Maureen McGovern, Joey McIntyre, Donna McKechnie, Andrea Marcovicci, Marin Mazzie, Julie Migenes, Karen Morrow, Burke Moses, Kelli O'Hara, John O'Hurley, Ken Page, Robert Picardo, David Hyde Pierce, Larry Raben, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Roger Rees, Charles Nelson Reilly, Cathy Rigby, Alexandra Silber, Douglas Sills, Rex Smith, Brent Spiner, Lea Thompson, Steven Weber, Lee Wilkof, Ruth Williamson, Marisa Jaret Winokur, Lillias White, Fred Willard, and Rachel York.