Breaking News: Cole Porter's CAN-CAN Headed Back to Broadway in Spring 2014 with Revised Book; Workshop This Fall
Just announced is news that the Cole Porter classic, Can-Can, will kick up its heels in a new production to land on Broadway in Spring 2014. Presented by Jonathan Burrows, nephew of the musical's original book writer Abe Burrows, the new production features a revised book by David Lee (Two By Two and Gigi at Reprise, TV's "Frasier" and "Cheers") and Joel Fields (How I Fell in Love at Abingdon Theatre Company, TV's "Ugly Betty" and "Raising the Bar"). Lee directs the production, featuring choreography byPatti Colombo (Peter Pan) and musical direction by Tony Award nominee Steve Orich (Jersey Boys). Prior to the Broadway production, a workshop will take place in New York in October 2013. Casting has yet to be confirmed.
With a score featuring some of Porter most timeless classics including "I Love Paris," "C'est Magnifique," and "It's All Right With Me," Can-Can is the story of Pistache, the only café owner in Paris who dares to features the scandalous and illicit Can-Can dance. Will her defiance of the law be end of both her café and her chance for love?
Can-Can was first presented at Broadway's Shubert Theatre in 1953 by legendary producers Cy Feuer and Ernest H. Martin. The musical made an over-night sensation of Gwen Verdon. A 1960 film adaptation starred Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra, Maurice chevalier and Louis Jourdan.
When this new version of Can-Can was first presented at The Pasadena Playhouse in 2007, co-author and director David Lee commented "My mentor and good friend James Burrows is the son of Abe. When I mentioned gingerly to him that I was intrigued with trying to work on his dad's show, he was encouraging. Happily, the Cole Porter estate also gave us permission to try out a new approach. The new book is about 80% percent new - but almost all of Abe's original characters remain. For historical flavor we added a few characters of our own that were actual performers at the Moulin Rouge. Rather than a 'rewriting' of the show, Joel and I like to think of this version as a 're-setting'-as you might a piece of jewelry - polishing up the gems Porter and Burrows left us."
Cole Porter (Music & Lyrics) was born in Peru, Indiana, in 1891. He graduated from Yale, where his football songs are still popular. After the failure of his first Broadway show, he lived in Europe, where he married legendary beauty Linda Lee Thomas. Returning to New York in the late 1920s he gained renown for many great songs, including "Night and Day," "Begin the Beguine," "You're the Top" and "I Get a Kick Out of You." His 1930s were highlighted by such Broadway offerings as Anything Goes, Gay Divorce and Jubilee. A crippling riding accident in 1937 left him in constant pain, yet he continued to write memorable scores, among them Can-Can, Silk Stockings and his masterpiece, Kiss Me, Kate. He died in 1964.
Abe Burrows (Original book) Born in NYC, Burrows graduated New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn and attended City College and NYU. His career in radio and television writing began with "This Is New York," followed by "The Rudy Vallee Program," "Duffy's Tavern" and "The Abe Burrows Show." Burrows also wrote, doctored or directed such shows as Guys and Dolls; Make a Wish; Two on the Aisle; Three Wishes for Jamie;Can-Can; Silk Stockings; Say, Darling; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Cactus Flower;Breakfast at Tiffany's; Forty Carats; Good News; Four on a Garden and many others. With Frank Loesser, Burrows won a Pulitzer Prize for How to Succeed.... In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he won four Tony Awards.
David Lee (Director, Co-author) has directed productions of Light Up the Sky, Do I Hear A Waltz?, 110 in the Shade, Diva, Can-Can, Camelot and Art (Pasadena Playhouse), the world premiere of How I Fell In Love(Williamstown Theater Festival), On The 20th Century, Assassins, Company, A New Brain, Applause, Working, Forum, Zorba, (Ovation nominee-best director), Elegies, Two By Two and Gigi (Reprise). In 2007 he directed the acclaimed production of South Pacific at the Hollywood Bowl with Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell. His writing for the theater includes a concert adaptation of Can-Can (Encores! with Patti LuPone), and an entirely new book for Can-Can which he directed at the Pasadena Playhouse (Ovation Award-Best Director). David is also a 9-time Emmy Award winning director, writer, and producer for television. He is the co-creator of "Wings" and "Frasier," for which he also wrote, produced, and directed. He served as writer/producer for Cheers and directed multiple episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond." In addition to 19 Emmy nominations, he is the recipient of the Directors Guild Award, Golden Globe, Producers Guild Award, GLAAD Media Award, British Comedy Award, Television Critics Association Award (three times), the Humanitas Prize (twice), and the Peabody.