With their Anastasia settled in for a run at the Broadhurst, and Once on This Island headed for a major Broadway revival later this season, the time is ripe to revisit a lesser-known musical by the songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, My Favorite Year.
The score of the 1992 musical (with a book by Emmy-winner Joseph Dougherty) will get two 25th anniversary concert performances, at 7 and 9:30 PM October 8 at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City. It's based on a popular film of the same title about a young man hired as a junior writer for a 1950s sketch comedy TV show obviously based on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows. Chanler-Barat will play the young writer, Benjy Stone; Douglas Sills will play guest star Alan Swann, the flamboyant, hard-drinking Hollywood star on whom Benjy is supposed to ride herd.
The roles were originated on Broadway by Evan Pappas and Tim Curry. Pappas will host the October 8 concert.
The concert will also include some rewrites. Ahrens told Playbill, “There are four new songs, a better structure, new act break, and we’ve cut at least one song and revised another existing one. Some new reprises, etc. One of these new songs was originally written for the show, and was workshopped way back when with Victor Garber, but it was never included. We always loved it, and we've finally found a great way to include it. It’s called 'Clarence Duffy,’ and tells us of Alan Swann’s evolution from unknown to movie star to has-been. The rest of the songs are brand new, and have been written specifically for this new version.”
She said, “We’ve had to make some nips and tucks for this concert version but we think the new version will play beautifully, just as it did at the York Theater, when we tried it out in their ‘in mufti’ series. The cast is sensational, and Doug Sills and Adam Chanler-Berat are amazing together.”
Also lined up for the cast: Caroline O’Connor, Rose Hemingway, and Steven Eng. Daniel Marcus, Aaron Galligan-Stierle, Thom Sesma , Barbara Marineau, Bree Branker, Joy Hermalyn, and Samantha Gorjanc.
Ahrens added, "We’re hoping some of the original cast will show up, and if they do, they’re invited to stand and sing the closing number!”
The Feinstein’s concert will be directed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges, with music direction by David Holcenberg.
Click here to order tickets, which cost $40–$90, plus a $25 food/beverage minimum.