Len Cariou & Liz Robertson, Original Stars, Reunite in DANCE A LITTLE CLOSER Concert
Len Cariou and Liz Robertson, stars of the original Broadway production of Dance A Little Closer, the Charles Strouse and Alan Jay Lerner musical, have joined the cast of its previously announced concert adaptation, on Monday, April 16 at 7 pm at the Green Room 42. Presented in honor of composer Charles Strouse's 90th birthday by the Second Act Series, the stars will perform two songs they originated in the legendary, infamous and short-lived Broadway production. The abridged concert will also include never-before-heard songs cut during the show's workshop period.
Dance A Little Closer takes place in an Alpine hotel on New Year's Eve, when the world is on the brink of a nuclear Armageddon. The musical, inspired by Robert E. Sherwood's Idiot's Delight, struggled to find its footwork and closed on its opening night after twenty-five previews and one performance.
Len Cariou, a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame, has appeared on Broadway in Charles Strouse's Applause (Tony nomination), A Little Night Music, (Tony nomination) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, (Tony Award) The Speed of Darkness; The Dinner Party and Proof, among others. His many television credits include "Damages," "Murder She Wrote," "The West Wing," and "Into the Storm" (Emmy nomination).
Liz Robertson's many West End credits include A Little Night Music, directed by Hal Prince; Side by Side by Sondheim; I Love My Wife, My Fair Lady (Olivier Award nomination, directed by her husband Alan Jay Lerner); Phantom of the Opera, and many more. In the U.S., she appeared on Broadway in Dance a Little Closer (opposite Len Cariou) and Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood, and in an extensive U.S. tour of The King and I, opposite Rudolph Nureyev. She will perform her cabaret show, Lerner Without Loewe, in NYC at Don't Tell Mama, April 13-15.
Charles Strouse, celebrating his 90th birthday year, is one of America's most acclaimed musical theater composers. A three-time Tony Award-winner, Strouse's music has touched the life of almost every American in the last half century. From the classic "Once Upon a Time" to the rocking score of Bye, Bye, Birdie (Tony Award), his celebrated songs are an essential part of the American songbook. Strouse's Broadway musicals also include Applause (Tony Award), Annie (Tony Award), Golden Boy (Tony nomination), Nick and Nora, It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman (Tony nomination), Rags, and more. Strouse's song "Those Were the Days," one of the most popular television themes of all time, launched over 200 episodes of "All in the Family", memorably featuring Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton singing the song from behind their spinet.
The three-time Tony-winner will greet fans and sign copies of his memoir, Put on A Happy Face, following the performance. (Books will be available for purchase (no credit cards accepted).
Dance A Little Closer has lyrics and libretto by Alan Jay Lerner. A list of Lerner's hits, created with frequent collaborator Frederick Loewe, all but defines the genre of musical theatre: Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, Camelot, the movie musical Gigi, and their biggest triumph, My Fair Lady. Dance a Little Closer, which starred his wife Liz Robertson, was his only collaboration with Charles Strouse.
The cast features Julia Knitel (A Letter to Harvey Milk, Beautiful), Michael Osso (The Broadway Four), Ed Dixon (Sunday In the Park With George), Cheryl Howard, (who returns to the role she originated in the original 1983 production), Thomas Dieter, Janet Fanale, Kimberly Faye Greenberg, Christine Knitel, Eric Knitel, Stearns Matthews, Paul Thomas Ryan, Daniel Walstad, and Kenneth Tigar.
The Green Room 42, located on the 4th floor of Yotel, 570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, is Broadway's newest entertainment hall and features performances by Broadway stars and an eclectic menu of food and drinks. Tickets, beginning at $30, are available at http://www.onfournyc.com. There is no food and beverage minimum.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski