CARSON - THE MUSICAL Workshop to be Held in New York this Year; Joan Rivers, Don Rickles & More Confirmed as Characters

Henry Bushkin's new Johnny Carson/TONIGHT SHOW musical, based on his own book about the late-night host, is quickly shaping up.

According to a new Equity listing, the musical's first workshop will be held Dec. 9-12 in New York City, with rehearsals officially kicking off on Nov. 3.

Despite previous reports that jazz artist Steve Tyrell would be writing the project's music, the listing affirms that Doug Katsaros is now taking on the duty, as well as lyrics with Jamie Malanowski. Malanowski will also write the book with Bushkin. Tricia Brouk is set to direct and choreograph, with Joe Maker offering musical direction.

As previously reported, among the 21 other roles to be cast are Bushkin, Carson, Carson's wife Joanna, producer Freddie de Cordova, Ed McMahon, and guests Carl Sagan and Don Rickles. The listing further revealed that Carson's family and subsequent wives will also be included in the lineup of characters, as well as Fred Silverman, Arthur Clouseau and more.

NBC's TONIGHT began in 1953 with host Steve Allen. Johnny Carson hosted THE TONIGHT SHOW for 30 years, having received six Emmy Awards, the Governor's Award and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987 and was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, seeing a Kennedy Center Honor the following year. Carson stepped down as host in 1992, when he passed the torch to Jay Leno.

Joan Rivers' Broadway credits include Fun City, Broadway Bound and Sally Marr...and her escorts, for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination as Outstanding Actress in a Play and a Tony Nomination for Best Actress in a Play. For a look back at Rivers' multi-faceted career, including hosting stints on THE TONIGHT SHOW, click here.

Below, check out clips from Carson's time at the top of late night with the musical's purported cast of character's, including an interview with Rivers, Rickles, and his own parody of Carol Sagan's COSMOS!


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