Fiorello!, the fictionalized, Pulitzer Prize-winning musicalization of the life of former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, opens March 12 in a concert staging by 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco. Following previews March 10-11, the West Coast troupe devoted to concert stagings of "Lost Musicals" runs four weeks of the Jerry Bock Sheldon Harnick show, to April 4, at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.
Frank Coppola directs, David Dobrusky music-directs.
The 1959 musical was a major hit for the still-new team of Bock and Harnick (who previously wrote Tenderloin). The duo would go on to write She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, The Apple Tree and The Rothschilds before parting company.
Fiorello! told the colorful story of LaGuardia, rearranging events in his life to make the story more dramatic. Jerome Weidman and George Abbott wrote the libretto.
The score includes the brittle and satiric "Little Tin Box" and "Politics & Poker," songs that some say earned the show its Pulitzer. In 1960, the show tied for a Best Musical Tony Award with The Sound of Music, and Bock and Harnick tied with Rodgers and Hammerstein in the Best Score category, representing a change from the old guard to the new.
The 42nd Street Moon company includes Bob Greene (in the title role, originated by Tom Bosley), Stephanie Rhoads, Robin Steeves, Amy Cole, Steven Patterson, Bill Fahrner, Michael Shipley and Richard Pardini.
Tickets are $18-$22. Call (415) 861-8972 for information.
-- By Kenneth Jones