The box office for the new Off-Broadway Little Shubert Theatre, to be christened by Tony Award-winning song-and-dance man Tommy Tune, opens Nov. 11, two weeks before the first performance of Tommy Tune: White Tie and Tails Nov. 26.
The 6-foot-6-inch actor-singer-dancer (and Tony Award winning director) will perform, as he has for years, in the tradition of Fred Astaire, singing and dancing this time with a big band as backup and his pals, The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, as on-stage collaborators.
Tune is the inaugural attraction at the Little Shubert, a new Off-Broadway jewelbox run by the Broadway powerhouse Shubert Organization, at 422 W. 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. Opening is set for Dec. 18. Chase Mishkin, Leonard Soloway, Roy Furman and Julian Schlossberg with James M. Nederlander are the producers. The run of the show is open-ended. Phone sales have been ongoing, at (212) 239-6200.
Tommy Tune: White Tie and Tails is billed as "a non-stop series of song and dance numbers set to the music of Fred Astaire, Peter Allen, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and The Beatles." He'll be joined by his long-time international touring musician-dancer partners, The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, known for their passion for American popular music. The show is expected to be a fresh variation on the act Tune and the Rhythm Kings have been touring. Music director Michael Biagi conducts a 16-member big band, with arrangements by Wally Harper and orchestrations by Randall Biagi, Larry Blank, the late Peter Matz (Grand Hotel), Don Sebesky, Andy Stein and Jonathan Tunick. Lighting is by Natasha Katz, projections are by Wendell K. Harrington, with sound design by Peter Fitzgerald.
A nine-time Tony Award winner for his performances, direction or choreography, Tune has helped create such Broadway shows as Nine, My One & Only, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, The Will Rogers Follies and Grand Hotel. He helmed Off Broadway's The Club and Cloud Nine. He spent two years starring in the Las Vegas production of the spectacular EFX at the MGM Grand Hotel, where he was awarded Best Production Star of the Year in 2001.
Tune is the only person in theatrical history to win in four different categories (Best Choreography, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical).
Performances are 8 PM Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 PM Wednesdays and Saturdays and 3 PM and 7 PM Sundays.
— By Kenneth Jones