Songwriter Hugh Martin, still writing at 85, is contributing new lyrics to a New York City concert presentation of his 1948 musical comedy, Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'!, and has encouraged the interpolation of songs cut from the original production.
Musicals Tonight!, one of several Manhattan companies that revive classic musicals in concert form, will stage the show March 7-19, under the direction of Thomas Mills and the musical direction of C. Colby Sachs.
The tuner about the goings-on in a traveling ballet company was originally staged by George Abbott and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee wrote the book. Martin's score includes "I'm a Guy Who's Gotta Dance," "The First Girl in the Second Row" and "I'm Tired of Texas." The musical Jerome Robbins' Broadway memorably revived the song "I'm a Guy Who's Gotta Dance" in its opening number.
The original Decca cast recording of Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'! only preserved eight songs from the score, but this revival represents the entire show, and then some: Martin has written new lyrics to "The New Look" (not on the cast album), plus offered two songs written for, but not used, in the Broadway production: "Horrible, Horrible Love" and "Wonderful, Wonderful Love." Two other tunes not on the album, "Jazz" and "The Two of Us," will be heard here, too.
Martin's favorite unpublished song, "All My Life," from the unproduced musical, Maggie & Jiggs, will also be interpolated into the score. The musical farce includes a plotline about a "danseuse wannabe" who is an ex-vaudevillian and a brewery heiress underwriting a cross-country ballet tour. The concert cast includes Jennifer Allen, Noah Racey, Elise Molinelli, Rob Lorey, Amy Goldberger, Gair Morris, Sally Mae Dunn, Richard Ruiz, Edward Prostak, Alli Bivins, Ryan Duncan, John Flynn, Marc Kessler and Jennifer Miller. Nancy Walker starred in the Broadway original.
The nonprofit Musicals Tonight! operates under an Actors' Equity approved showcase contract. Tickets are $15. Performances are at The 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St. in Manhattan.
For more information or reservations, call (212) 362 5620.
-- By Kenneth Jones