Cole Porter's rarely revived Red, Hot and Blue! will have Debbie Gravitte, Ben Lipitz and Michael McGrath in roles originated by Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope, when the tuner is seen in a revised version at Goodspeed Opera House this fall.
Director Michael Leeds is revising the 1936 Russel Crouse-Howard Lindsay script for the Goodspeed run Oct. 13-Dec. 31. The musical offered two of Porter's enduring hits: "It's De Lovely" and "Ridin' High." It was not immediately clear if the score will include interpolated numbers from the Porter catalog.
The plot centers on the search for a missing heiress whose identity can only be determined by a waffle-iron mark on her behind. To assist in the search, a millionairess arranges the parole of several prison inmates. One sentimental con resents his release and misses being the captain of the prison polo team.
Also in the score are "Down in the Depths," "The Ozarks Are Callin' Me Home," "Red, Hot and Blue," "What a Great Pair We'll Be," "Five Hundred Million," "You've Got Something," "Carry On" and "Ours."
Gravitte has played big-voiced dames in Jerome Robbins' Broadway and Tenderloin (Encores!), Lipitz appeared in Broadway's recent A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Laughter on the 23rd Floor and McGrath appeared in Roundabout Theatre Company's Little Me. For ticket information, call Goodspeed box office (860) 873 8668.
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces six musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and at its second stage, Goodspeed-at Chester/The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT. The Terris opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals.
-- By Kenneth Jones