How are things at Camp Grenada?
Kind of slow these days, so the Off-Broadway revival of Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, running at the Triad Theatre since July 17, is on hiatus. According to a Keith Sherman office spokesperson, the show halted performances Nov. 25 but is expected back at the Triad (tentatively) Jan. 22, 2002. No reason was given for the vacation, though winter is generally a slow time for New York theatre, and Off-Broadway has been especially hard hit by the Arab terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. No word on whether the cast will change when the show returns.
Allan Sherman's Grammy-winning 1963 novelty hit, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" was just one of many parody numbers by the late creator of such LPs as "My Son the Folksinger" and "My Son the Nut."
In 1992, Douglas Bernstein and Rob Krausz fashioned a revue titled after the song, loosely structured around the life-cycle of a nice Jewish boy. Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! opened at Off-Broadway's Circle In The Square Downtown theatre Dec. 5, 1992 and has since gone on to a busy life in the regionals, including two New York-area stints at Long Island’s Broadhollow Centre Stage and a 1994 mounting at Queens Theatre in the Park.
This season, Off-Broadway once again heard Sherman's parodies and rock free poptunes as Muddah/Fadduh received a revival at the Triad Theatre on West 72nd Street. Previews began July 17 for an opening Aug. 2. Songs in the show include "Grow, Mrs. Goldfarb" (to "Glow, Little Glowworm") and "Sir Greenbaum's Madrigal," "Shake Hands With Your Uncle Max," "Harvey and Sheila" and "Kiss of Myer" (to "Kiss of Fire"). The title tune is a young boy’s letter to his parents, in which he complains about the hellish conditions of Camp Grenada — until the sun comes out. The second act makes room for a couple of more serious songs, taken from the Sherman-Albert Hague Broadway flop, The Fig Leaves Are Falling.
Jennifer Dumas and Jack Cullen are producing the remount, which is directed by co-author Krausz and stars Kevin Pariseau, Leslie Lorusso, Jimmy Spadola, Kristie Dale Sanders and Larry Cahn. (The original OB cast featured Mary Testa, Tovah Feldshuh and Jason Graae as the middle-class protagonist, Barry Bockman).
According to production spokespersons at the Keith Sherman office, designing this Mudd/Fadd are Bill Barclay (set), Michael Louis (costumes) and Philip Monat (lighting).
For tickets ($40-$45) or more information on Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! at the Triad, 158 West 72 St., call (212) 239-6200.
— By David Lefkowitz