Musical Theatre West Sets 2016 Reiner Staged Reading Series

Musical Theatre West's (MTW) Reiner Staged Reading Series returns in 2016 with four one-night only performances of classic and forgotten Broadway gems, including Pal Joey (January 24, 2016); On the Twentieth Century (May 16, 2016); Donnybrook! (June 12, 2016); and Li'l Abner (August 28, 2016). All performances take place at the University Theatre at California State University, Long Beach (off 7th Street between East and West Campus Drive, Parking Lot 7). Tickets are now on sale at the Musical Theatre West Ticket Office, by calling (562) 856-1999 ext. 4. Subscriptions are now available for all four shows for $100, or $75 for your choice of three shows. Advance general admission tickets for each performance are $27 (or $32 on the day of the performance). Seating is general admission, with season subscribers receiving early access to the theatre via a special subscriber door. For tickets or more information, call Musical Theatre West at (562) 856-1999, ext. 4 or go to

The Reiner's Reading Series productions are performed concert style, a bit like radio theatre. Using minimal sets and costumes, but featuring the full scripts and scores, the performances are the perfect way to celebrate the spectrum of musical theatre, while discovering some new favorite songs and shows. The shows will be performed in their entirety with the scores performed by a live orchestra, provided by Los Angeles Musicians Collective. The series is produced by Michael Betts and David Lamoureux and is made possible by a generous donation from Ken & Dottie Reiner with additional funding provided by The Ackerman Family/Evalyn M. Bauer Foundations, Kathy Baker Campbell, Robert & Donna Betts, Ben & Norena Thompson, Pat & Janice DeRouen, Marian Pincombe, and Ken & Cheryl Simpson.

PAL JOEY - January 24, 2016

It's Chicago in the late 1930s and Joey Evans, a small-time performer, has big dreams of starting his own night club. A philanderer always working the angles, he draws the attention of two women, the innocent Linda who brings out the best in him and the wealthy, middle-aged, and married Vera Simpson, who can give him the club and lifestyle he's always wanted. How long can Joey juggle these women and what choice will he make - love or fame? The witty, melodic score by Richard Rodgers and Lorenzo Hart includes such favorites as "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and "I Could Write a Book." Based on a series of short stories published in The New Yorker, which later became a novel, John O'Hara's beguiling tale became a hit on Broadway in the 1940s with Gene Kelly, Vivienne Segal, June Havoc, and Van Johnson in the original cast.


Part operetta, part farce, and part screwball comedy, the action takes place onboard a 1920s luxury train, where music, mayhem, love collide. Bankrupt theater producer Oscar Jaffee has only the ride from Chicago to New York to convince glamorous Hollywood starlet and former lover Lily Garland into playing the lead in his new, but not-yet-written, drama. But is the train ride long enough to reignite the spark between them, create a play from scratch, and find the money to get it all the way to Broadway? Based loosely on the 1930s film and play Twentieth Century, the combined genius of composer Cy Coleman and lyricists and book writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green make this a Class A ticket to Broadway musical brilliance.

DONNYBROOK! - June 12, 2016

John Ford's Academy Award-winning film The Quiet Man, is recognized as a cinematic masterpiece and the Johnny Burke and Robert E. McEnroe musical adaptation Donnybrook! exquisitely reimages the classic, enhancing the story with a brilliant score. Irish-American prizefighter John Enright has killed a man in the ring and vowed never to raise a hand again to anyone. He returns to his homeland in the misty hills of west Ireland where he meets the invincible Ellen Roe, who wants a man who will stand up and fight for her. John must struggle with the choices before him - to remain a pacifist or take on a final battle, the titular donnybrook. From the rousing opening number "Sez I" to the breathtaking ballad, "He Makes Me Feel I'm Lovely" and the comic "I Wouldn't Bet One Penny," Donnybrook! features one of the best Golden Age Broadway scores that you've never heard.

LI'L ABNER - August 28, 2016

Hillbilly hijinks rule the roost in this fun-filled, foot-stompin' musical adaptation from the Al Capp's beloved comics. Brilliantly blending political satire, country bumpkin antics, and side-splitting humor, writers Norman Panama and Melvin Frank bring Dogwood, USA to life, complete with Abner, Daisy Mae, Mammy and Pappy Yokum, the Scraggs, Earthquake McGoon, Marryin' Sam and Moonbeam McSwine. A lively score by Gene De Paul and Johnny Mercer, including "If I Had My Druthers," "Jubilation T. Cornpone," and "Namely You," Li'l Abner has all the fixins' for a classic American musical.

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