Grossinger's 'Opens' in Wilton Manors December 7th!

BARBARA MINKUS AND BARRY PEARL TO CO-STAR AS LEGENDARY HOTEL ICON JENNIE GROSSINGER AND HER "TUMLER" SIDEKICK, IN FLORIDA PREMIERE OF THE MUSICAL SATURDAY NIGHT AT GROSSINGER'S, OPENING EXTENDED RUN DECEMBER 7 AT STAGE DOOR'S 26TH ST. THEATRE, WILTON MANORS, FT. LAUDERDALE 

Barbara Minkus, who originated the starring role of Molly Picon in "Picon Pie," will take on another beloved icon of Jewish-American entertainment lore, when she stars as the "Borscht Circuit's" legendary hotel owner Jennie Grossinger in the Florida premiere of the Stephen Cole/Claibe Richardson/ Ronny Graham musical comedy, SATURDAY NIGHT AT GROSSINGER'S presented at the Stage Door's 26th Street Theatre, 1444 N.E. 26th St., Wilton Manors.

Previews begin Wednesday, December 7 at 2 P.M., with the official opening set for Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 8 P.M.

Directed and choreographed by Ray Roderick, co-starring with Minkus will be Barry Pearl, who with Minkus will be coming direct from the successful Los Angeles production. Diana D'Ambrosio, , Wayne LeGette, Louis Silvers, and Jay Stuart round out the cast.

Recounting the fabled story of Jennie Grossinger, an uneducated immigrant who saw her small boarding house rise to the heights as the greatest resort on the East Coast, the production that local theater buffs will be seeing is a reworked version of the musical "Grossinger's" which was produced in 1997 starring Gavin McLeod. Since then, Stephen Cole, (who wrote the libretto and co-wrote the lyrics with the late Ronny Graham,) and Claibe Richardson have re-worked the show to further enhance the story of the rise of the legendary hotel which, from the '20's to the '80's, became the jewel of the Catskills and the summer Saturday night performance home of the world's greatest entertainers.

Originally conceived by Rita Lakin and Doris Silverton who brought the idea to Graham and the late Claibe Richardson, SATURDAY NIGHT AT GROSSINGER'S has now emerged as a rollicking six character musical comedy that won rave reviews when it opened in 2005 at L.A.'s Theatre West, was extended twice, and ran for four months.

For those who recall the Coconut Grove Playhouse production of "Funny Girl," remembered well will be the performance of Barbara Minkus as Fanny Brice. Originated by Barbra Streisand, the role won Minkus critical raves throughout the U.S. Since then, Minkus has defined her personality as one of Broadway and Hollywood's most versatile singer/actresses, starring on Broadway in "The Education of Hyman Kaplan" with Tom Bosley, going on to multi-appearances on TV's The Merv Griffin Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Danny Kaye Show, and six years on "Love, American Style."

Movies including "Lady Sings the Blues," and "Love at First Bite," and the recording of "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," in which she is heard as 'Lucy,' were followed by appearances in the nation's top cabarets, a record-breaking run in the West Coast premiere "Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother," and her brilliant performance in the world premiere of "Picon Pie" in which she channeled the legendary Molly Picon. In her current role as the equally legendary Jennie Grossinger, Minkus will re-create the role she originated for L.A.'s Theatre West.

Also coming direct from the successful LA production, Barry Pearl will be reprising his role as Sheldon Seltzer, the Borsch Belt "tumler" who can sing, dance, do impressions, and is indispensable to a hotel such as Grossinger's. Pearl made his Broadway debut in 1961 as 'Randolph MacAfee' in the original production of "Bye Bye Birdie." Since that time, he has filled a forty-year career appearing in such other Broadway shows as the original companies of "Oliver!;" "A Teaspoon Every Four Hours," starring Jackie Mason; and as Lenny Bruce in "Lenny's Back" at Broadway's Studio 54 in 1999, then again in L.A. in 2001.

Pearl recently appeared in "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" at the Laguna Beach Playhouse in California.   He has also graced stages in regional productions of "Guys and Dolls," "42nd Street," "Noises Off," "Crazy for You," "Talley's Folly, "Chapter Two," and "The Wizard of Oz." He was featured in a national tour of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" starring Tim Conway and Tom Poston.  Film-goers will recognize Pearl as 'Doody' in "Grease" and as Professor Tinkerputt in "Bedtime with Barney: Imagination Island" and "Barney's Big Surprise." Last season, Pearl appeared on Broadway in "The Producers," then later in the musical's National Tour. He has been a regular on such TV series as "CPO Sharky," starring Don Rickles, "The New Love American Style," and "Superior Court." He frequently guest stars on such series as "ER," "General Hospital," and "Days of Our Lives." 

Based in Ft. Lauderdale, actress, dancer, and lyric coloratura soprano Diana D'Amrosio is frequently on call for roles throughout South Florida. The versatile D'Ambrosio has appeared in such varied productions as "Kiss Me Kate" at the Orlando Broadway Theatre; "Oklahoma!." and "The Merry Widow," at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, locally in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" at The Actor's Playhouse, and on the high seas aboard the Norwegian Sun in Cameron Macintosh's Encore production of "Mr. Producer."

Wayne LeGette is among South Florida's most accomplished actors having appeared consistently in the area's most successful shows. A six-time nominee for Carbonell Awards, LeGette won both the Carbonell and Curtain Up Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Sylvia St. Croix in "Ruthless," and an earlier Carbonell for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for "Broadway Bound." Most recently, LeGette appeared in the Seaside Music Theatre production of "The Royal Family," "The Boy Next Door" for Palm Beach Drama Works, "The Water Coolers" for The Actor's Playhouse," and the Mosaic Theatre production of "A New Brain" for which he won a Curtain Up nomination.

Louis Silvers in the role of Harry Grossinger, 'Jennie's' husband, will be familiar to local audiences for his appearances with such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sally Fields, Dom DeLuise, Charles Nelson Riley, and a score of others at The Burt Reynolds Theatre in Jupiter, Florida where, direct from Northwestern University, Silvers became the Jupiter's first apprentice. On Broadway, Silvers starred in "Oh! Calcutta!," Off-Broadway in such shows as "The Bar," and "Seymour Glick;" on tour in the national companies of "The Rothschilds," and "Meet Me at the Pitkin."

Jay Stuart as 'Papa Grossinger' began his career as the leading man in the revival of Richard Rodgers' "The Boys From Syracuse." Succeeding Hal Linden as co-star of "The Pajama Game" with Barbara McNair and Cab Calloway, Stuart went on to "Cry For Us All," with Robert Weede, "Applause" with Arlene Dahl, "The Grand Tour," with Joel Grey, and stood-by for Dick Van Dyke in the revival of "A Little Night Music." He was also featured in all three national tours of "Sugar Babies" starring Mickey Rooney, Ann Miller, Eddie Bracken, Robert Morse, and Carol Channing. Locally, Stuart appeared "Man of La Mancha," "The Great American Follies," "Gypsy," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," and "I Do, I Do.".

From Broadway performer to writer/director/ choreographer, GROSSINGER'S director Ray Roderick was for six years associate director of Madison Square Garden's" A Christmas Carol" and associate director of the recent Broadway revival of "The Music Man" for director/choreographer Susan Stroman which he later directed for the North American tour. Locally, Roderick will be remembered for co-writing, directing and choreographing "I Love a Piano" which won him a Carbonell nomination. He is currently co-writing and directing "Are We There Yet? A Family Survival Guide" with Jim Hindman and John Glaudini.

Stephen Cole's works for the stage include the book and lyrics for the musicals "After the Fair," "The Night of the Hunter," "Casper," starring Chita Rivera, and "Dodsworth," starring Hal Linden. Claibe Richardson had scored the Broadway productions of "The Grass Harp," Off-Broadway's "Lola," and "The Night of the Hunter." Actor-writer Ronny Graham wrote lyrics for "Bravo Giovanni," wrote for and appeared in the original production of "New Faces of 1952," and penned the screenplays to "Spaceballs," and "To Be or Not To Be."

SATURDAY NIGHT AT GROSSINGER'S is produced by Lawrence S. Toppall, Martin Markinson, Richard Willis, and Patricia Greenwald.

Previews are Wednesday, December 7, 2005-Saturday, January 7, 2006, with prices at $29.50, except Saturday evenings when they are $35. Performances are Wednesdays at 2 P. M., Thursdays at 2 & 8 P.M. Fridays at 8 P.M., Saturdays at

2 P.M. and 8 P.M.; Sundays at 2 P.M. and 7 P.M.

After Saturday, January 7,2006 regular prices apply: $35per ticket and $30 per ticket for groups. Performances are Wednesdays at 2 P.M., Thursdays at

2 & 8 P.M., Fridays at 8 P.M., Saturdays at 2 P.M. and 8 P.M.; Sundays at 2 P.M. and 7 P.M.

For tickets, call (954) 344-7765, or www.stagedoortheatre.com.

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From This Author Beau Higgins

Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg (read more...)

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