In continuing efforts to spotlight "lost" musicals, San Francisco's 42nd Moon opens its concert reading of the Richard Rodgers/ Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents collaboration, Do I Hear A Waltz, April 8-May 3.
The plot of Waltz revolves around a lonely schoolteacher, Leona Samish who splurges her life savings on a trip to Venice. Once there, she finds plenty of love and passion ... but only between other couples. Her one friend is a young boy, who shows her the city's sights and offers a sympathetic ear for her woes. Finally, she meets the man of her dreams, an antique shop owner named Renato, with whom she falls desperately in love -- until she finds out that he's married. Leona returns home with a greater understanding of love itself and fond memories of a man who taught her not to settle for less than she deserves.
The original production starred Elizabeth Allen, Carol Bruce, and Sergio Franchi, Do I Hear A Waltz? is a musical adaptation of Laurents' play The Time of the Cuckoo. Waltz marks the only collaboration between musical theatre legends Rodgers & Sondheim. Although Sondheim was nominated for a Tony for his lyrics, the experience of Waltz was the last time he wrote lyrics for someone else's music for Broadway. (He later wrote lyrics under a nom de plume to Rodgers' daughter Mary's music in an Off-Broadway revue.
Sondheim had previously written lyrics for other composers including Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story and Jule Styne on Gypsy, but already had composed two musicals of his own with Anyone Can Whistle, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
The cast of the 42nd Street Moon production will feature Marsha Mercant, Joe Giuffre, Dyan McBride, Steven Rhyne, Robin Steeves, Caroline Altman, Kelly Ground, Sean Sharp, Zac Moon, Rick Wixo, Arwen Andersen and Darren Criss. Do I Hear A Waltz? plays at the New Conservatory Theatre, April 8-May 3. For tickets or more information call (415) 861-8972.