The Nyack theatre, whose production of Dames at Sea ends May 4, will begin its season Sept. 19 with "the world's first Jackie Mason musical," Laughing Room Only. A press release states that the show, which runs through Oct. 5, has "beautiful women, great music, [and] Jackie's trademark razor-sharp humor." Laughing Room Only will play at the Hayes before bowing at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre in October. Robert Johanson, the former artistic director of New Jersey's Paper Mill, will direct. Otis Sallid will direct and choreograph the next Hayes production, The Mancini Project, which also has an eye toward Broadway. The new musical will spotlight the works of Henry Mancini, who was nominated for more than 70 Grammy and 18 Academy Awards. The Mancini Project will feature musical numbers from films as diverse as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Charade" to "The Days of Wine and Roses" and "Victor/Victoria." Mancini, who was represented on Broadway by the stage version of the Blake Edwards film, "Victor/Victoria," died in 1994. His themes and songs are part of the American soundtrack and are heard in elevators, on ads, cartoons and radio. Two of his famous compositions are "The Baby Elephant Walk" and "The Pink Panther." The Mancini Project will play the Hayes Oct. 18-Nov. 2.
The final fall presentation at the Hayes will be Meredith Willson’s Tony winning The Music Man. The musical, which boasts such tunes as "Trouble," "Goodnight My Someone" and "Seventy-Six Trombones," will play Nov. 29-Dec. 28. Willson's The Music Man opened on Broadway in 1957 starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook. Both actors won Tony Awards for their work (the musical also nabbed the Tony for Best Musical, beating West Side Story; New Girl in Town; Oh, Captain!; and Jamaica), and Preston repeated his role in the 1962 film opposite Shirley Jones. Rebecca Luker and Craig Bierko headed the last Broadway revival, and Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Broderick starred in the recent TV film.
The Helen Hayes Theatre Company is located at 117 Main Street in Nyack, NY; call (845) 358-6333 for information. For more information, go to www.hhtco.org.