Musical Theater Project Announces Upcoming Concert JUST FOR LAUGHS

The Musical Theater Project (TMTP) will produce a new multi-media concert, "Just for Laughs," for two performances: Wednesday, November 14 (7pm) at Solon Center for the Arts, and Sunday, November 18 (3pm) at The Hanna Theater at Playhouse Square.

"Just for Laughs" is co-hosted by TMTP founding director Bill Rudman and music director Nancy Maier and features singers Douglas F. Bailey II, Ursula Cataan and Sheri Gross.

"What makes us laugh at a song in a musical?" asks Rudman. "Sometimes it's the brilliant wordplay in a lyric (Yip Harburg's 'Lydia, the Tattooed Lady'). Sometimes it's the shenanigans of an outrageous performer (Nathan Lane), or the character being portrayed by that performer (Max Bialystock).

"Or sometimes it's all three, like Bert Lahr bellowing his way through the Cowardly Lion's 'If I Were King of the Forest' in The Wizard of Oz. When that happens, we connect more deeply with our dreams, joys and frustrations. In short, our laughter brings us closer to ourselves."

The TMTP concert explores great comedy songs going back as far as Eddie Cantor's "Makin' Whoopee" (1928) and as far forward as "Man Up" from the 2011 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, The Book of Mormon. It's quite a tradition - celebrated with live performances and video clips.

Says Maier: "Remember that long before we started calling this art form 'musical theater,' it was known as 'musical comedy.' The sole purpose was to entertain, and what a wonderful goal that is. Laughter is fundamental to musicals, and there are a gazillion great comedy songs out there waiting to be revisited."

Solon Center for the Arts is located at 6315 SOM Center Road in Solon. General Admission tickets are $40 and Preferred Seating tickets are $43. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006 or www.MusicalTheaterProject.org.

The Hanna Theater at Playhouse Square is located at 2067 E. 14th Street in Cleveland. General tickets are priced at $30-$55. Tickets are available through the Playhouse Square Box Office at 216-241-6000 or www.PlayhouseSquare.org.

"Just for Laughs" is presented as part of "The Song Is You!" concert and cabaret season produced each year by The Musical Theater Project at a variety of locations.

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