Minnie's Boys, the 1970 musical about the young Marx Brothers that has earned a cult following thanks largely to its cast album featuring Shelley Winters as mama Marx, will get a concert revival by the Jewish Repertory Theatre in Manhattan.
Walter Willison adapted the script — book by Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher, music by Lary Grossman and lyrics by Hal Hackady — and directs for JRT. Performances play 8 PM Oct. 31, 3 and 7 PM Nov. 3 and 2 PM Nov. 4 at the Center for Jewish History.
Fred Barton is musical director. The cast features Stephen Brockway, James Donegan, Diane J. Findlay, Henry Grossman, Douglas Holmes, Francis Kelly, Gary Littman, Corinne Melancon, Samuel Renl, Jo Anna Rush and Jamison Stern.
The musical comedy ran 80 performances, and had Groucho Marx listed as a special consultant. The cast included Lewis J. Stadlen — now playing Max Bialystock on tour in The Producers — as Groucho. "Mama, a Rainbow" emerged from the score as a favorite for cabaret singers.
Tickets are $35. The Center for Jewish History is at 15 W. 16th Street. For reservations, call (917) 606-8200. *
The Jewish Repertory Theatre, under the artistic direction of Ran Avni, has mounted sproadic modest shows in the past year and a half, compared to many years of full stagings. A special four-performance concert revival of the musical revue, Vagabond Stars, was its most recent effort, in spring.
The JRT had a home for many years at Playhouse 91 on the Upper East Side but found itself presenting in other houses since 2000. The Off-Broadway troupe, founded in 1974 by Avni, has been largely hibernating for the last year: The last major mounting offered was a musical, A Naughty Knight, back in May 2001.
Past JRT shows include the musical, The Jazz Singer, The Gathering starring Theodore Bikel, the first New York revival of Home of the Brave, Never On Friday starring Dudu Fisher, A Majority of One starring Phyllis Newman, Kuni-Leml, The Fishkin Touch starring Mike Burstyn and Too Jewish Two! starring Avi Hoffman.
The company's website is at jrt.org.
— By Kenneth Jones