Dick Van Dyke, a Song and Dance Icon, Stars in Biographical Step in Time!, Starting in L.A.

News   Dick Van Dyke, a Song and Dance Icon, Stars in Biographical Step in Time!, Starting in L.A.
 
Tony Award winner Dick Van Dyke is the latest golden-age film and theatre star to bring his story, song and dance to the stage, in the world premiere of Dick Van Dyke – Step in Time! – A Musical Memoir, getting its world premiere starting Dec. 8 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke Photo by Reflections Photography/ Washington, D.C.

The show that "highlights the artist's truly scrumptious six decades in the entertainment industry" plays to Jan. 16, 2011. Opening night is Dec. 16.

The experience — "a living autobiography pulling stories and songs from Van Dyke's celebrated career," including Bye Bye Birdie on stage and screen, and the films "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang" — is co-written by Van Dyke and the play's director, Joshua Ravetch.

The star might be best known for playing Cockney chimney sweep Bert in Walt Disney Pictures' "Mary Poppins" opposite Julie Andrews.

Octagenarian Van Dyke will be joined on stage by Eric Bradley, Bryan Chadima and Mike Mendyke, three young singers who together with Van Dyke form the singing quartet "The Vantastix."

Step in Time!, a title borrowed from Richard and Robert Sherman's song and Van Dyke's signature dance number in "Mary Poppins," plays the Geffen's intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. The creative team includes designer Daniel Ionazzi, stage manager Jill Gold and musical director Bryan Chadima.

Geffen Playhouse producing director Gil Cates and his team have been collaborating with Van Dyke and Ravetch on the development of the show. Ravetch previously worked at the Geffen developing and directing the world premiere of Wishful Drinking with Carrie Fisher.

"I'm having the best so-called retirement of anyone I know, doing what I love doing," Van Dyke said in a statement. "Eventually I may try something less strenuous."

In addition to his Tony Award for Bye Bye Birdie, Danville, IL, native Van Dyke has won five Emmy Awards. His television series "Diagnosis Murder" aired on CBS for eight seasons. His most recent film was "Night at the Museum," for which he was cast against type as a grumpy old man (he is seen performing dance moves behind the closing credits crawl). When his Bye Bye Birdie co-star Chita Rivera appeared in her own biographical show on Broadway, Van Dyke made a couple of guest appearances.

Performances play Wednesday-Sunday. Tickets for Step in Time are $65 for preview performances and range from $75 to $85 for the regular run. They are available online at www.geffenplayhouse.com, in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office or by calling (310) 208-5454.

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