RIALTO CHATTER: Producers Say 'MINSKY'S' Broadway Bound
Associated Press Theatre writer Michael Kuchwara is reporting that "Minsky's," the musical tale of Depression era burlesque that just opened last week in Los Angeles, is set for a summer or fall 2009 Broadway bow, according to its producers.
The creative team will continue to shape the musical after it completes it's LA run, producer Kevin McCollum explains to the AP, "Part of a producer's job, I think, is to support artists you believe in. Both Bob Martin and Casey were interested in tackling this," McCollum said. "Charles Strouse is a hero of mine. And I've always felt that Susan Birkenhead of 'Jelly's Last Jam' is one of the great lyricists of our time. So the idea that we had artists who wanted to reinvent a show that had stumbled all those years back was exciting."
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"Minsky's" opened February 6, 2009, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre and continues through March 1 (previews began January 21). Featuring music by three-time Tony Award-winning composer Charles Strouse ("Bye Bye Birdie," "Annie," "Applause") and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead ("Jelly's Last Jam" and "Triumph of Love"), "Minsky's" is Center Theatre Group's second collaboration with Tony Award-winning writer Bob Martin and director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw ("The Drowsy Chaperone").
The cast features Christopher Fitzgerald (Billy Minsky), Katharine Leonard (Minsky's love interest Mary), Rachel Dratch, George Wendt and Beth Leavel along with John Cariani, Gerry Vichi, Kevin Cahoon and Paul Vogt. Ensemble members include Megan Nicole Arnoldy, Nathan Balser, Roxane Barlow, Jennifer Bowles, Kirsten Bracken, Jennifer Frankel, Linda Griffin, Blake Hammond, Philip Hoffman, Stacey Todd Holt, Marc Kessler, Sabra Lewis, Matt Loehr, Ariel Reid, Jeffrey Schecter, Angie Schworer, Sarrah Strimel, Charlie Sutton, Jennifer Werner and Patrick Wetzel.
Presented by special arrangement with Bob Boyett and Kevin McCollum, "Minsky's" will feature scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Acme Sound Partners and hair design by Josh Marquette. The musical direction and vocal arrangements are by Phil Reno, orchestrations are by Doug Besterman and arrangements are by Glen Kelly. Casting is by Telsey + Company, the Technical Supervisor is Peter Fulbright and the production stage manager is Karen Moore.
"Minsky's" is a big, racy, romantic musical comedy set in Depression Era New York City. The king of burlesque himself, Billy Minsky (Christopher Fitzgerald), reigns over the rollicking backstage world of "Minsky's" where profit margins are as skimpy as the costumes. Billy knows that to keep the customers coming you have to give them legs, laughs and spectacle that pushes the limits, but even he's not prepared for the day he falls in love and the cops come banging on his door. This original musical brings back a golden era of theatre when audiences came to the theatre to laugh at the jokes, ogle the dancers and escape reality for a little while.
Tickets for "Minsky's" start at $20 and are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Music Center. For the deaf community, call TDD (213) 680-4017 for tickets and information.
Photo by Craig Schwartz