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Saturday Night At Grossinger's in 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.

Directed by Ray Roderick, the musical will preview Wednesday, December 7 at

2 P.M./>, with the official opening set for Saturday, December 10, at 8 P.M./>

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," they will remember the performance of Barbara Minkus as 'Fannie Brice,' the role originated by Barbra Streisand, and the role that won Minkus critical raves throughout the U.S./>/> Since that time, 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.

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/>, Richard Willis, Martin Markinson and Patricia Greenwald.

Preview perfs. Wed, Dec. 7, 2 P. M., Thurs, Dec. 8, 2 & 8 P.M. Fri, Dec. 9, 8 P.M./>, Sat., Dec 10, 2 P.M./>, are $29.50.  Thereafter, perf. Thurs, Fri, Sat, 8 P.M.; Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sunday at 2 P.M./>; Sunday eve at 7 P.M./> are $35. Groups are $30.  For tickets, call (954) 344-7765, or                                                                            #          #          #                                                                                 













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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...)