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Cut Song Restored For Theatrical Gems' Wildcat


The wistful ballad "That's What I Want (For Janie)," in which Wildcat describes her dreams forherself and her sister, has been restored for the Theatrical Gems production of the CyColeman-Carolyn Leigh musical Wildcat, presented December 19 in Manhattan to benefit the Actors Fund.

This song was cut from the original production after opening night to easethe vocal load for star Lucille Ball.Director Jacob Shoesmith Fox states, "I am so excited that the authors' estates have given usspecial permission to perform 'That's What I Want (For Janie).'

This song adds so much heartto the character of Wildy and presents a side of her that is not seen in the rest of the show.

"Wildcat, with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, and book by N. Richard Nash,tells the story of a frontier woman named Wildcat Jackson who arrives in a border town in theAmerican southwest with dreams of striking oil and tricks foreman Joe Dynamite into helpingher. Not-for-profit Theatrical Gems produces the first New York revival of the show since 1961.

The event will be held at The Julia Miles Theatre at the Women's Project, 424 West 55thStreet on Sunday, December 19 at 7:00 PM. Theatrical Gems Artistic Director JacobShoesmith-Fox directs, with musical direction by Steven H. Taylor.

The 29-person cast stars Luba Mason (Chicago, Jekyll and Hyde) as Wildcat "Wildy" Jackson, Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll and Hyde) as Joe Dynamite, Beth Fowler (The Boy From Oz, Beautyand the Beast) as Countess Emily O'Brien, Lenny Wolpe (Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone) asthe local hermit Sookie, Jenn Gambatese (All Shook Up, Tarzan) as Wildcat's sister Janie,and newcomer Junior Mendez (CBS's My Broadway Debut) as Joe's young sidekick Hank.

The cast also features Vincent D'Elia (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Grease), Lawrence E. Street(Urinetown), Pierce Cravens (Ragtime, A Christmas Carol), Kenneth Kasch, Tony Castellanos,Gregory Couba, Michal Salonia, Spencer AnDrew Taylor, and Michael Puglia. The ensemble ismade up of Lital Abrahams, Andrea Andert, Kiarri D. Andrews, Jaime Lyn Beatty, ChristopherDeRosa, Jonathan Juarbe, James LaRosa, Nolan Muña, Alison Rose Munn, Tara Novie, ErinO'Neil, Tony Ramos, Jillian Schochet, and Bradley Vile.Wildcat was Cy Coleman's first musical.

It opened on December 16, 1960 and is bestremembered for being the sole Broadway appearance of comedienne Lucille Ball, although thecast also featured Keith Andes, Paula Stewart, Edith King, and a young Valerie Harper (Rhoda)in the dance ensemble. Wildcat closed on June 3, 1961 after two hiatuses and 171 performances.Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by emailing tickets@theatricalgems.org.

ationwide human services organization that helps all professionals inperforming arts and entertainment. The Fund is a safety net, providing programs and servicesfor those who are in need, crisis or transition.Theatrical Gems strives to educate audiences about the past, present, and future of theater.

Through the entertaining and engaging presentation of popular classics, new works, andunderappreciated relics, we hope to expand horizons and tastes with the goal of preservingthese works of art for future generations of theatergoers. Theatrical Gems is a sponsoredproject of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.For more information, visit: www.theatricalgems.org

Photo Credit: Linda Lenzi

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