DANNY AND SYLVIA The Danny Kaye Musical Opens At St. Luke's Theater 5/13
Hy Juter and Edmund Gaynes will present "DANNY and SYLVIA: THE Danny Kaye MUSICAL" at the St. Luke's Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, beginning Saturday, May 2nd at 2 pm with the official opening on Wednesday, May 13 at 8 PM
The new musical love story, with book and lyrics by Robert McElwaine and additional music by Bob Bain, stars Helen Hayes Award-winner Brian Childers as Danny Kaye and Kimberly Faye Greenberg as his wife and creative partner, Sylvia Fine who wrote many of his most famous songs. Directed by Pamela Hall with choreography by Gene Castle, the musical follows the duo from the time the young undisciplined comic Danny Kaminsky meets aspiring songwriter Sylvia Fine at an audition in the 1930s. Under Sylvia's guidance as mentor, manager and eventually, wife, Kaye rises from improvisational comic to international film star. The musical explores their inspired collaboration and the romance and conflict that made them such a volatile and successful couple. Many of Danny's hit songs are featured including "Tchaikovsky," "Anatole of Paris," "Minnie the Moocher" and "Deena."
The musical has been presented successfully in London and Washington, DC.
ROBERT MC ELWAINE (book and lyrics) was director of Advertising and Publicity for the Goldwyn Studios in the 1950s, where he met Danny Kaye and became his publicist and confidant for 20 years. As director of John F. Kennedy Productions, Mr. McElwaine worked on more than 80 stage productions for the Kennedy Center. He was also Chairman of the Board of the Writers Center, an organization dedicated to the development of new writers.
Additional music has been written by BOB BAIN who has composed music for three musicals in collaboration with Bob McElwaine over the last ten years. Prior to that Mr. Bain was lead guitarist and composer/arranger at MGM and arranger for Doc Severinson's Tonight Show Orchestra.
BRIAN CHILDERS received the 2002 Helen Hayes Award for "Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical" and the 2001 Mary Goldwater Award for his performance as Danny Kaye in Danny and Sylvia: A Musical Love Story. He also received the 2005 Star-Ledger Award for "Best Actor in a Musical" for his portrayal of Harry Witherspoon in Lucky Stiff at the Forum Theater. Mr. Childers played the title role in the national tour of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Ken Ludwig. Regionally he has played leading roles in On The Town, Becoming George, The Robber Bridegroom, The Second Man, The Boys in the Band, Hollywood Pinafore and Detective Story. He has performed at the Kennedy Center in the new musical 90 North, as Bobby Kennedy in The Titans and the 9/11 benefit entitled Not a Day Goes By.
Kimberly Faye Greenberg, who plays Sylvia Fine, has performed across the United States in national tours, regional theatres, cabarets and theatre for young audiences. Her roles include The Vagina Monologues (Off-Broadway), Sylvia Fine in The Danny Kaye Story (Maltz Jupiter Theatre and Broward Stage Door Theatre), Fiddler On The Roof (as Tzeitel and Hodel), Mary Magdalene in The Passion Play, The Musical (the oldest most Historic Passion Play in the U.S. at the Park Theatre, New Jersey), and, most recently, the Off-Broadway revival of Christmas Rappings by Al Carmines at Theatre at Judson. Kimberly has been featured on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed and ER. She was also Host for the Educational TV Series, Personal Best.
Pamela Hall directed The Rise of Dorothy Hale, Trolls, the long-running hit, Picon Pie and Emily Mann's Annulla, Off-Broadway. Most recently she directed the current National Tour of Gilligan's Island: The Musical. She was nominated for an Ovation Award for her direction of the LA premiere of The Taffetas and also directed the West Coast premieres of Jeff Daniels' Shoe Man; the Fred Allen bioplay Mr. Allen, Mr. Allen; Maltby and Shire's Starting Here, Starting Now, and the long-running original musical Crazy Words, Crazy Tunes. Ms. Hall directed Hand in Hand: The Un-Musical, the first musical created and performed by the TONY-nominated Deaf West Theatre. As an actor, Ms. Hall has played leading roles on Broadway as Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Phil Silvers, Nina in Dear World with Angela Lansbury, and Martha Jefferson in 1776 and was featured in the all-star Sondheim: A Musical Tribute at the Shubert Theatre in New York.
Choreographer Gene Castle recently directed and choreographed the Off-Broadway musical, Babalu-Cy! He also choreographed the current National Tour of Gilligan's Island: The Musical. He began his theatrical career as a "newsboy" in the original Broadway production of Gypsy & was also featured in the original Broadway productions of Flower Drum Song, High Spirits, Henry, Sweet Henry & George M!, as well as Best Foot Forward Off-Broadway. On the West Coast, he directed & choreographed On The Town for the San Jose Civic Light Opera, winning the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards For Best Direction, Best Choreography & Best Musical. Other credits include Movin' On, an original Sondheim musical for the Laguna Playhouse; Strike Up The Band at Reprise; A Tree Grows In Brooklyn at the Pasadena Playhouse; The Emmy Awards starring Jason Alexander; Oh Coward! at the Coronet Theater; Cinderella at the Long Beach Civic Light Opera; the feature film "Kiss Me Goodbye" and the television specials "Bonnie And The Franklins" & "The Doc Severinsen Show."
Musical Director Annie Lebeaux is a pit keyboardist, musical director, pianist/singer, composer/lyricist who has performed all over the world including tours with the orchestras of A Chorus Line and 42nd Street.
A native of South Africa, producer Hy Juter was president of that country's largest theatrical booking and public relations company, handling tours for Frankie Laine, Trini Lopez, Englebert Humperdinck, Buddy Greco, Sarah Churchill and many others. In England and Europe he worked with Peter Sellers, Sophia Loren, Eva Bartok and John Mills among others. He produced "Incident at Paradise Beach" for MGM and "Puppets," an award-winning documentary. He has produced Off-Broadway and national tours of The Jazz Singer, King and I, Continental Nights, Say Who You Are, The Boyfriend, Antigone, Chevalier, Boeing Boeing, It's Just Sex and Danny and Sylvia.
Edmund Gaynes has produced The Rise of Dorothy Hale, The Big Voice: God or Merman?, A Brush With Georgia O'Keeffe, Picon Pie, Emily Mann's Annulla, Trolls, Panache, Chaim's Love Song, Matty: An Evening with Christy Mathewson, and Bein' With Behan (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination) Off-Broadway. He is the producer of the current National Tour of Gilligan's Island: The Musical. He also appeared as an actor in 13 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including Promenade, Edward Albee's Bartleby and Best Foot Forward, in which he co-starred with Christopher Walken and Liza Minnelli. His TV credits range from Mary Martin's "Peter Pan" to "Cheers", "Kojak", "The Ed Sullivan Show" and two years as "Paul Stewart" on "As the World Turns". Mr. Gaynes currently operates St. Luke's Theatre, and along with Louis S. Salamone, The Actors Temple Theatre and Theatres at 45 Bleecker Street.
Sets for "DANNY and SYLVIA" will be designed by Josh Iacovelli with lighting by Graham Kindred. The General Manager will be Jessimeg Productions.
Previews for "DANNY and SYLVIA: THE Danny Kaye MUSICAL" begin Saturday, May 2nd at 2 pm at St. Luke's Theatre, 308 West 46th Street (west of 8th Avenue) in NYC.
The performance schedule is Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday at 2 PM and Saturday evenings at 8 PM. The musical opens official on Wednesday, May 13th at 8 PM.
Tickets at $56.50 & $31.50 are available through www.TeleCharge.com or (212) 239-6200.
For additional information visit www.dannyandsylvia.com.
photo of Brian Childers and Kimberly Faye Greenberg