Harold Rome's obscure 1948 flop musical, That's the Ticket!, about a frog-prince who runs for president, gets a concert reading by the Manhattan show-tune troupe, Musicals Tonight!, April 9-21.
David Staller plays Lord Alfred, the 1,000-year-old, cursed frog who becomes a prince after being discovered by (and spending the night with) a society girl, Patricia (played by Rita Harvey), in Central Park. Pat's father (played by George S. Irving) and his political cronies (Michael Mendiola, Andrew Gitzy, Matthew Morgan and Ed Prostak) are looking for a reactionary candidate and choose Lord Alfred. Femme fatale Marcia LaRue (played by Carter Calvert) wants the nomination herself — and wants Lord Alfred. George S. Irving appeared in the original tryout production in 1948 in Philadelphia and returns for this shoestring version. The Jerome Robbins-directed show never made it to Broadway.
The cast includes Richard Bunting, Cynthia Collins, Julie La Chance, Jason Lowenthal, Laurent Nahan, Liz Pearce, Lyn Philistine, Justin Roller and Shelby Rose.
Thomas Mills directs. Hark Hartman is musical director. Mel Miller is founder and producer of the Musicals Tonight! series.
Music and lyrics are by Harold Rome (Wish You Were Here, Fanny, Pins and Needles). The libretto is by "Casablanca" screenwriters Julius and Philip Epstein. The original cast included Kaye Ballard, Leif Erickson and Loring Smith. Songs in the score include "A Determined Woman," "Gin Rummy Rhapsody" and "The Money Song." Historian Steven Suskin reports in his book, "Show Tunes," that "The Money Song," "a clever calypso take on Yankee Dollars, managed to achieve some radio popularity."
Performances are at The Mainstage at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th Street, in New York City. All tickets are $19. Wednesday and Sunday matinees are at 2 PM. All performances except Saturdays are at 7 PM. Saturday shows are at 8 PM. For reservations, call (212) 362-0713.
— By Kenneth Jones