Musicals Tonight!, the presenter of classical musicals in staged reading form, will revive the near-forgotten musical So Long,174th Street for a limited run Mar. 7-23, officially opening Mar. 9.
The musical, written by Jon Stein (Fiddler on the Roof) and Stan Daniels (Emmy-award winning writer of "Taxi"), starred Robert Morse in the original production which opened Apr. 27, 1976. The play, by Joseph Stein, was based on Carl Reiner's coming of age tale, Enter Laughing..
Set during the Depression, So Long tells of an aspiring actor (Morse) who struggles to break free of his family's conviction that he should be a pharmacist.
Tony Award-winner George S. Irving will reprise his role from the original production with Morse. He plays a multitude of characters, but his shining moment is the number "Butler Song," a song popularized by the Cabaret circuit.
The cast also includes KT Sullivan (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and Ben Saypol, both recently appearing in Encores!' production of Babes in Arms. So Long will also feature three songs originally cut from the production and new material by Stan Daniels.
Musicals Tonight! prides itself on the ability to bring back virtually- forgotten musicals for new audiences to discover and old audiences to rediscover. Producer Mel Miller began Musicals Tonight! six months ago, opening with Let It Ride.
Miller is currently looking for a home for his new company so he may begin a subscription series much like Encores!. He believes there is a real love for classic-type musicals. His theory may be proved right by this second production; nearly all performances for So Long 174th Street are sold out, though the show has not even started previews.
Tickets are $12 and can be reserved by calling (212) 362-5620 or visiting their website at http://www.brettsinger.com/nowplaying.
-- by Becki Heller