Dr. Sex, the New Musical About Dr. Kinsey and the Sensation He Caused, Bows Off-Broadway

News   Dr. Sex, the New Musical About Dr. Kinsey and the Sensation He Caused, Bows Off-Broadway Dr. Sex, the new musical comedy about sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, his wife, the man they share and the controversy they started, opens Off-Broadway Sept. 21 at the Peter Norton Space on West 42nd Street.

In recent weeks the New York production of the show that was embraced in a 2003 Chicago non-Equity run saw some creative team changes. This is a separate, all-new Equity production of the property by Larry Bortniker and Sally Deering.

The Off-Broadway premiere of the musical — billed as "the cleanest show about sex in the history of musical comedy" — began Aug. 26.

Director Pamela Hunt and the producers of Dr. Sex parted ways while the show was in previews. The split was due to creative differences. Director Ethan McSweeny, who staged Broadway's Gore Vidal's The Best Man, worked with the company in recent days and is being called a "friend of the production." He "has joined the team to help out because of his affection for the project and its long-term potential," according to a statement. "Though Mr. McSweeny will receive no official credit for this production, he looks forward to being involved in its future."

A performance scheduled for Sept. 13 was canceled to allow the company to continue in rehearsals. Opening was announced for Sept. 20 and then bumped to Sept. 21.

In recent days, lighting designer Richard Winkler replaced Mary Jo Dondlinger. Brian Noonan plays sexual behavior researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey and lauded comic actress Jennifer Simard is his devoted wife, Clara.

The show is "fun, sweet, and outrageously screwball," according to the producers.

The limited engagement plays to Oct. 30 at the Peter Norton Space, 555 W. 42nd Street, usually the home of Signature Theatre Company.

Richard Ericson and Greg Young are presenting the musical by Larry Bortniker (lyricist, composer, co-librettist) and Sally Deering (co-librettist).

Choreography is by Mark Esposito.

"Set in the 1930s and '40s in Bloomington, Indiana, Dr. Sex explores the loving relationship between Dr. Alfred Kinsey, his wife, Clara...and their handsome boyfriend (and lab assistant), Wally Matthews," according to the producers. "When Professor Kinsey, tired of cataloguing American gall wasps, discovers his life's work in human sexual research, Bloomington becomes a hotbed of science and sex. Fun, sweet and outrageously screwball, with toe-tapping music and memorable lyrics, Dr. Sex is the new musical comedy for anyone who's ever had (or thought about having) 'you-know-what.'"

The musical numbers include "Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah," "I'm in Love With My Zoology Professor," "Here in a Bog," "Gall Wasp Wedding," "Honeymoon Dance," "The Call of the Wild," "Angelface," "Dr. Sex," "What People Really Do When the Lights Are Low," "Pharaoh's Tomb," "Swingin' for Science," "John D. Rockefeller," "They'll Tell You Everything," "The Doctor's Wife," "A Simple Rotational System," "I'm Still in Love With My Zoology Professor," "That Dirty Book," "Kinsey in the Eleventh Hour."

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Patrick Vaccariello (Cabaret, Boy From Oz, the upcoming revival of A Chorus Line) is musical supervisor.

Designers are Rob Bissinger (set), John Carver Sullivan (costumes) and Tony Smolenski IV (sound). The production's associate producers are Jann Cobler, Tom Wilson, Arol Jahns and David Gersten.

Christopher Corts plays Wally, the Kinseys' boyfriend. Also featured in the cast are Jared Bradshaw, Linda Cameron, David Edwards, Christy Faber, Colleen Hawks and Benjie Randall, with Brian Ogilvie and Dana Winkle.

Simard is a three-time Drama Desk nominee known for indelible turns in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, The Thing About Men and Forbidden Broadway. Noonan played both the Phantom and Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. In a tour of South Pacific (as Cable) he sang "Younger Than Springtime" to his wife Mayumi Miguel eight times a week. He recently starred in Stephen Cole and Claibe Richardson's Night of the Hunter (playing The Preacher) in California.

Pamela Hunt's credits include the popular Musical of Musicals — The Musical! Off-Broadway. She's in Philadelphia directing the Philly premiere of the show for Prince Music Theater.

For ticket information, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.TicketCentral.com. For more information, visit www.drsexthemusical.com.

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Dr. Sex was developed at BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop; Stages 2002, Theater Building Chicago; and the ASCAP/Disney Workshop; it subsequently had its 2003 world premiere in a non-Equity production at Bailiwick, where it had a popular run.

Composer-lyricist and co-book writer Bortniker first developed Dr. Sex at the BMI Lehman Engel Workshop, under the tutelage of Maury Yeston, and then workshopped it at the ASCAP at Disney Workshop in Los Angeles. Following a presentation of it at the Stages Festival in Chicago, the musical comedy had its debut at the Bailiwick Theatre in 2003. This production received seven Jeff Awards, including Best Musical and Best New Work, and an After Dark award for Best New Score.

Bortniker also wrote the score and book for Dora: Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, an adaptation of a Freudian case history, which was selected by the Dramatists Guild for its Musical Theater Development Award. His other musicals include Buck Simple (book by Craig Fols). His children's musical Animal of the Year (also written with Sally Deering) debuted on Theatre Row in New York and has had productions in Chicago and New York state.

Sally Deering (co-author of the book) began her theatre career as an actress, originating roles Off-Off Broadway in the 1980s. She spent 12 years as an award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist with her work syndicated on the Newhouse News Service. That’s when she began collaborating with Larry Bortniker on film scripts and writing her own plays. Her first, Chewing Mother's Bones, was given its world premiere at the Penguin Rep in Stony Point, NY. She recently finished her second play, Viagra With Legs, and her first book, "The Home," a memoir of an orphaned girl in the 1920s. She and Bortniker are working on Bombs Away!, a "musical tribute to the preservation of songs dropped like frozen turkeys from Broadway classics."

From Left: Brian Noonan, Christy Faber, Jennifer Simard, Colleen Hawks and Christopher Corts in <i>Dr. Sex</i>.
From Left: Brian Noonan, Christy Faber, Jennifer Simard, Colleen Hawks and Christopher Corts in Dr. Sex. Photo by Carol Rosegg
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