Musicals Tonight!, the presenter of classical musicals in staged reading form, has only stand-by tickets left for its reading of the near-forgotten musical So Long,174th Street. The limited run started March 7, opened March 9 and ends its engagement March 23. The last two performances (March 22 and 23) are sold out, as were many dates of the run.
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, who recently appeared 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.
For tickets ($12) and information call (212) 362-5620 or visit their website at http://www.brettsinger.com/nowplaying.
Next up for the company will be Herbert & Dorothy Fields' By The Beautiful Sea, starting June 16 at the Lamb's Theatre.
-- by Becki Heller and David Lefkowitz