Composer-lyricist Jerry Herman is known for his hummable, toe-tapping tunes to such Broadway classics as Mame, Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. About 40 of his tunes will be performed in the new Herman revue, Showtune: The Jerry Herman Songbook, which begins performances at the Helen Hayes Theatre Company Oct. 12.
Audiences at the Nyack theatre will hear these tunes in the new revue, which stars Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie and former Baby actor Martin Vidnovic: From Milk & Honey: "Shalom"; from Hello, Dolly!: "Before the Parade Passes By," "Hello, Dolly!," "It Only Takes a Moment," "It Takes a Woman," "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," "Ribbons Down My Back" and "So Long Dearie"; from Mame: "Bosom Buddies," "If He Walked Into My Life," "It's Today," "Mame," "The Man in the Moon," "My Best Girl," "Open a New Window," "That's How Young I Feel," "We Need a Little Christmas" and "What Do I Do Now?"; from Dear World: "And I Was Beautiful," "Kiss Her Now," "I Don't Want to Know" and "One Person"; from Mack and Mabel: "Big Time," "Hundreds of Girls," "I Promise You a Happy Ending," "I Won't Send Roses," "Look What Happened to Mabel," "Movies Were Movies," "Tap Your Troubles Away," "Time Heals Everything" and "Wherever He Ain't"; from The Grand Tour: "I'll Be Here Tomorrow"; from A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine: "Just Go to the Movies" and "Nelson"; and from La Cage aux Folles: "A Little More Mascara," "The Best of Times," "I Am What I Am," "Song on the Sand" and "With You on My Arm."
Vidnovic and McKechnie will be joined onstage by Paul Harman, who was in the original companies of Les Misérables and Chess; Tom Korbee, a recent graduate of the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music; Russell Arden Koplin, who appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and James Joyce's The Dead; and Sandy Binion, a former back-up singer for Tammy Faye Baker who has performed several times in Nyack's Broadway Concert Series and appeared in Broadway's Jane Eyre. Seven-time MAC Award winner Bobby Peaco will be the show's pianist.
The revue, showcasing tunes from such Herman musicals as Hello, Dolly!; Mame; La Cage aux Folles; Mack and Mabel; and Dear World, will play the Hayes through Oct. 27. Herman told gossip columnist Liz Smith that there are hopes the revue may transfer to an Off Broadway theatre after its run at the Hayes concludes.
Conceived by Paul Gilger, Showtune features direction and choreography by Smokey Joe's Cafe's Joey McKneely with musical direction by James Followell (a musical director for KT Sullivan). *
Best known for her Tony-winning performance as Cassie in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, Donna McKechnie has appeared in a plethora of musicals both on and Off-Broadway, some of which include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Company, State Fair, Can-Can, Annie Get Your Gun, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road, State Fair and Promises, Promises. Her one-woman musical celebration, "Inside the Music," was recently released on the Fynsworth Alley label and includes such tunes as "Everybody Says Don't," "Where Do You Start?," "Lies of Handsome Men" and "The Music and the Mirror."
A 1981 Tony nominee for his work in Brigadoon, Martin Vidnovic has appeared on Broadway in Home Sweet Homer, The King and I, Oklahoma!, Baby, Guys and Dolls, A Grand for Singing and King David.
The Helen Hayes Theatre Company is located at 117 Main Street in Nyack, NY. Tickets, priced between $32.50 and $55, are available by calling (845) 358-6333 for information. For more information, go to www.hhtco.org.
"Showtune" is also the title of Herman's 1996 memoir, written with Marilyn Stasio.
—By Andrew Gans