Musicals Tonight!, the scrappy musicals-in-concert series at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan, revives the Leslie Bricusse-Anthony Newley musical, The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd, with George S. Irving in the role of Sir, Dec. 4-22.
Thomas Mills directs the allegorical tale that includes the tunes, "Who Can I Turn To?" and "A Wonderful Day Like Today." The yarn has a character named Cocky (played by David Edwards) pitted against the imperious Sir, and they play "the game of life" in a small arena-like space. The show is one of several then-experimental musicals of the 1960s (think The Fantasticks or Stop the World — I Want to Get Off) that used archetypes to express universal themes.
Characters here include the Girl (Mamie Parris), the Kid (Leslie Ann Hendricks), the Bully (Drake Andrew), the Negro (Jimmy Rivers) and Urchins (Amy Epstein, Lauren Lebowitz, Andrienne Pisoni, Sandie Rosa, Jennifer Rose, Margie Stokley and Heather Stone).
Cyril Ritchard played Sir on Broadway in 1965. George S. Irving is the respected musical comedy actor who won a Tony Award Best Featured Actor (Musical) for Irene in 1973 and was nommed in 1987 for Me and My Girl.
Barbara Anselmi music-directs. Tickets are $19. The 14th Street YMHA is at 344 E. 14th Street. For reservations, call (212) 362-5620. — By Kenneth Jones