Photo Flash: First Look at Jim Brochu in Character Man

Urban Stages Founding Artistic Director Frances Hill and producer Peter Napolitano present the World Premiere of Character Man as part of its 30th Anniversary season. Jim Brochu''s new musical memoir opens Off-Broadway at Urban Stages Theatre (259 West 30th Street) Wednesday March 5th. This limited run, in previews now, will continue through March 30th only. Robert Bartley directs, with musical direction by Carl Haan. Character Man will have scenic & video design by Patrick Brennan, lighting design by Meghan Santelli and sound design by Sean Hagerty.

Drama Desk Award winner Jim Brochu puts his stamp on an original musical valentine to the Great White Way. Character Man has a book by Brochu and the music and lyrics of Leslie Bricusse, Jerry Bock, Betty Comden, Stan Daniels, Fred Ebb, Adolph Green, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Herman, John Kander, Bob Merrill, Anthony Newley, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, and Meredith Willson, including the iconic songs of the Golden Age of the American Musical.

Character Man is a salute to the memorable character actors of Broadway, filled with hilarious theater stories and touching personal recollections. Sprinkled with juicy backstage lore, the show spotlights the careers of, among others, Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Jackie Gleason, George S. Irving, Barney Martin and Brochu''s own mentor, two-time Tony Award-winner David Burns. "There would be no Broadway without these guys who supported the great stars and got the laughs without getting the girl. I began my own career as a character man at a time when I got to know these men and learn from them. David Burns was like a second father to me and I grew up backstage hanging out with him some of the others. They were amazing, dear, funny men and I don''t want them to ever be forgotten," said Brochu.

Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues). Performances will be Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7PM, Friday at 8PM, Saturday 3PM and 8PM and Sunday at 5PM. There will be an added performance on Tuesday, March 4th 7PM and no performance on Thursday, March 6th.

Tickets for all performances will be $35 (with low priced previews February 28th through March 4th at only $25) and available through SmartTix.com or by calling 212-868-4444. For more information, visit www.UrbanStages.org or call 212-421-1380.

Photos by Carol Rosegg

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