It may have been "'S Wonderful," but now it's over. The 42nd Street Moon's concert version of the Gershwins’ Funny Face, the first reading of the show in 20 years, ends in San Francisco May 21. Bonnie Hellman directs.
Originally a Lady, Be Good follow-up vehicle for Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele, Funny Face follows the misadventures and troubles the young ingenue Frankie causes her guardian when two bumbling thieves snatch her wild (and largely made up) diary along with her jewels. Several Gershwin hits bowed with the show including "'S Wonderful," "High Hat," "He Loves and She Loves" and Astaire's first major solo love song, "My One and Only." Funny Face was later revived in an altered state as the Tommy Tune show, My One and Only.
Martin Lewis stars as Jimmy, the Astaire role, with Lianne Marie Dobbs as Frankie, Adele Astaire's role. Also in the company are Bill Fahrner (Peter), Jason Logan and Brian Yates (the two jewel thieves), Marsha Ward (June), Amy Cole, Christian Cagigal, Don Cima, Eli Borgraeffe, Roy Steele, James Thomas, Betina Hershey, Tanis Johnson, Jill MacLean and Sasha Motalygo.
Tickets are $35-$22. The Gershwin Theatre, the home for Funny Face, is located at 2350 Turk Street. For reservations, call (415) 281-5868.
* 42nd Street Moon, the second-oldest musical theatre concert revival series in the world, will take San Francisco on a European Holiday in the its 2000 season, traversing the globe from the British Isles to Athens to Hungary and France.
First destination: modern-day Athens, where the Greek gods have decided to make a visit to humanity. Out of This World, a 1951 comedy by Cole Porter, offers "From This Moment," "Cherry Pies Ought To Be You," "Nobody's Chasing Me," "I Am Loved" and "They Couldn't Compare To You." Steven Rhyne, Stephanie Rhoads and Caroline Altman star in the musical, running July 12-30 at the Eureka Theatre.
In August, the British Isles serve as the stop for Johnny Mercer and Andre Previn's 1974 musical, The Good Companions adapted from the J.B. Priestly novel. Set during the Great Depression, Companions follows a troupe of musical hall performers across Britain as they fall in and out of love with each other. It features the songs "Stagestruck," "The Pleasure of Your Company" and "The Dance of Life." Good Companions runs Aug. 9-27.
France was home to Jean Giraudoux's Mad Woman of Chaillot, the inspiration for Jerry Herman's 1969 musical Dear World. A flop when it opened at Broadway's Mark Hellinger, World is one of Jerry Herman's least-heard scores, which includes the title tune, "Kiss Her Now," "I Don't Want To Know," "I've Never Said I Love You" and "Through the Bottom of the Glass." Angela Lansbury starred in the original; 42nd Street Moon regular Meg Mackay will take her role as the madwoman in this revival, running Sept. 6-24.
The "European Holiday's" final stop will be Hungary in the Rodgers & Hart show I Married An Angel. A repeat revival for the Moon, Angel's upbeat 1938 musical comedy features "Spring Is Here," "I Married an Angel," "I'll Tell the Man in the Street" and "At the Roxy Music Hall." Lesley Hamilton returns as Peggy Palaffi in this tale of an angel sent to a Budapest banker who swears he will marry no one but a heavenly creature.
Subscriptions are $120; individual tickets run from $35-$22. The Eureka Theatre, where the rest of the season will rest, is located at 215 Jackson Street at Battery. For reservations, call (415) 281-5868.
-- By Christine Ehren