Broads!, the Musical, Stars Broadway Quartet

News   Broads!, the Musical, Stars Broadway Quartet
 
Broadway veterans Ivonne Coll, June Gable, Leslie Easterbrook and Barbara Niles will be the four ladies of "a certain age" in a new musical Broads!, beginning Feb. 13 at the El Portal Forum Theatre in North Hollywood, CA.
(clockwise from left) Ivonne Coll, Barbara Niles, June Gable and Leslie Easterbrook
(clockwise from left) Ivonne Coll, Barbara Niles, June Gable and Leslie Easterbrook Photo by Michael Lamont

The show, set in a Florida retirement community, has a book by Jennie Fahn and music and lyrics by Joe Symon. Directed by Jules Aaron and choreographed by Kay Cole, Broads! The Musical will open Feb. 19.

According to production notes, "Elaine and Myra are sisters residing at Millennium Manor Retirement Village in South Florida, where they team up with fellow seniors Louise and Nilda to put on an annual variety show in the clubhouse. When Louise delivers some unexpected news right in the middle of their act, the performance begins to unravel and the ladies have to scramble to pull themselves together — with hilarious, poignant, and tuneful results."

"Bringing these funny and touching women to life has been a labor of love," stated director Aaron, who has worked with Symon and Fahn for nearly two years on the development process. "The story of two Jewish sisters from New York and their middle-American and Puerto Rican friends (Coll is a former Miss Puerto Rico) really took off as we developed their 'club act' and backstage relationships."

"Broads! began as an ode to my grandmother," explained Fahn. "She lived in a retirement community, but she was the life of the party. I wanted to show the vitality that these ladies share, and the importance of their relationships to one another."

Fahn (book) is the writer-performer of You Mutha! A One-Mother Show, which ran for two years in Los Angeles and played the New York City Fringe Festival. She won Best Writer awards for her short film, "Tea With Grandma," in which she co-starred opposite Tippi Hedren. Other written works by Fahn include Cracker Jack Day (a children's musical), 12 Items or Less (co-written with her husband Jonathan), and various sketches for her all-woman comedy group, The Jersey Girls. Onstage, she's been seen in Troubadour shows at the Falcon Theater including Jackson Frost and Alice In One-Hit Wonderland 1 and 2. Other L.A. stage appearances include Amadeus (Hollywood Bowl); The Wild Party and Roar of the Greasepaint (Musical Theater Guild); Up The Week Without A Paddle (Neurotic Young Urbanites); A New Brain and Merrily We Roll Along (West Coast Ensemble); and Wonderful Town (Reprise). Symon (composer, lyricist, creator) began his career as an actor-singer, graduating from New York's American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He has performed Off-Broadway at the Actor's Playhouse and with the York Theatre Company, and in regional productions along the East and West Coast, the West Indies and in Europe. Transitioning into writing and composing, he produced and starred at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles in the one-man musical, Home is Where the House Falls, for which he created two of the characters who would later become the ladies of Broads!

Ivonne Coll (Nilda) appeared on Broadway in the Tony-nominated Chronicle of Death Foretold, directed by Graciela Daniele, and Goodbye Fidel with Jane Alexander, directed by Ed Sherin.

Easterbrook (Louise) starred as Sgt. Callahan in "Police Academy," later punching her way from Sergeant to Captain in five of the six sequels. (Another one is in the works.) She created characters Devlin Kowalsky on "Ryan's Hope" and Rhonda Lee on "Laverne and Shirley." She has guest starred on over 60 TV shows. On Broadway, she created the role of Bunny in Neil Simon's California Suite.

Gable (Elaine) starred on Broadway as Googie Gomez in The Ritz by Terrence McNally; was nominated for a Tony Award for Candide; and won an OBIE for The New York Shakespeare Festival's A Comedy of Errors. She was nominated for the London Drama Critics Award for Jacques Brel.... After starring opposite Eve Arden in the infamous Moose Murders on Broadway, she starred in the Broadway national tours of Pump Boys and Dinettes and They're Playing Our Song. She recently starred as Molly Picon in Picon Pie in New York City, and toured as Eleanor in The Lion in Winter with the late Jason Miller.

Niles (Myra) was Mary Magdalene in the first Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar and Annie in Broadway's Oy Mama, Am I In Love, a play with music performed in Yiddish. Off-Broadway, regional theatre and national tours include Jules Feiffer's Grown-Ups; Dime Store Diamonds; Berlin to Broadway; Private Lives; Oklahoma; Godspell; Tintypes; Feiffer's People; Starting Here, Starting Now; Manhattan Madness; and more.

Cole (Choreographer) choreographed Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks on Broadway and The Fantasticks, Snoopy and Blockheads on London's West End.

The creative team for Broads! includes vocal arranger Steven Ladd; Brian Murphy on piano; set designer Stephen Gifford; lighting designer J. Kent Inasy; costume designer Shon LeBlanc; sound designer Robert Ramirez; and production stage manager Corey Womack.

Broads! will play Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM, though April 4. (Previews are Feb. 13 at 8 PM; Feb. 14 at 2 PM and 7 PM; and Feb. 18 at 8 PM.)

General admission is $35; previews are $25. The El Portal Forum Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in NoHo — North Hollywood. For reservations and information, call (818) 508-4200 or go to www.broadsthemusical.com.

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