Kander & Ebb's 'Flora The Red Menace' At Rising Action Theatre

By: Oct. 09, 2009
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From Kander and Ebb, the composers of Cabaret, Chicago and New York, New York comes their first seldom seen collaboration; Flora the Red Menace. It starred a young Liza Minelli and earned her her first Tony Award for best actress at the age of 17  in 1965.

Flora the Red Menace will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2  pm performing Oct 15 through Nov 22.

Tickets are available at
www.risingactiontheatre.com or by calling 1 800 595-4849. Groups can call 954 815-8826.  Tickets are $35. A three couse dinner and show package is available at Primavera Restaurant for $60. Reduced priced previews will be held Oct 15 and 16 for $25.

Flora the Red Menace is the story of youthful idealism set during the great depression where everyone, including her artists, dancers and musician friends,  are  struggling to survive and find work in New York City circa 1935.   Flora Mezaros, a  wannabe fashion designer,  freshly graduated from school, finds a job as a  fashion illustrator.  She meets and falls in love with another artist - a Communist,  and blindly joins the Communist Party out of love and idealism. She gets a rude awakening when she finds her job, love and communism don't mix.

Flora the Red Menace was adapted from the book "Love is Just Around the Corner" by Lester Atwell.

In the Rising Action Theatre revival, the story is told as though in a presentation by the Federal Theatre Project (part of the WPA established by President Roosevelt). A company of 9 actors play 25 roles. 

John Kander and Fred Ebb composed Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, The Happy Time, The Rink, Woman of the Year, Curtains and the films Funny Lady, New York, New York, Chicago and Cabaret.

David Thompson penned the revised book for Flora which premiered at the Vineyard Theatre in 1987. He also was nominated for a Tony for his libretto for Steel Pier
and co-conceived And the world Goes Round (Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Awards)

It is directed, musically directed and choreographed by Kevin Coughlin who holds degrees in Music, Choreography and Stage Direction from N.J.C.U. He has directed over 50 musicals including Ruthless (Tamarac), Company (Willow Theatre), A Grand Night for Singing, And the World Goes Round, Musical of Musicals and more.

The cast includes the delightful Christina Groom as the quirky Flora Mezaros (Ruthless, And the World Goes Round, MacBeth); Chris Costa (Biloxi Blues) Tom Falborn (Off Broadway credits include Hamlet, The Seagull, Midsummer Nights Dream); Kathy Ryan Fores (Shadow Box at Vinette Carol Theatre, Shiloh Rules at Woman's Theatre Project). Others in the cast include Lissen Ellington, Sabrina Gore, Scott Hindley, and Rick Pena.

Artistic Director David Goldyn chose this musical for a variety of reasons. It speaks to our current generation of youth and laid off workers struggling to find jobs in our current recession/depression. Our current social change of health insurance for all mirrors the social changes of Roosevelt's WPA of the thirties. The theme of compromising one's ideals to fit into society and keep one's job is universal and timeless. David Goldyn feels the score is magical: especially,  Sing Happy, One Good Break and A Quiet Thing need to be heard.



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