Mark Waldrop (When Pigs Fly, Bea Arthur On Broadway) will direct the production, which is being produced by Michael Alden (a producer of Grey Gardens, Bridge & Tunnel and more). Official opening is April 30.
In Russian on the Side, "virtuoso Mark Nadler takes audiences on a zany 90-minute journey from Stravinsky to Sondheim," according to production notes. "Filled with music from celebrated American songwriters of the 20th-century such as Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Cole Porter, and Ira Gershwin, Nadler tickles the ivories and dishes scintillating gossip about some of the world's greatest composers."
A second out-of-town engagement in the late summer will follow Chicago. The plan is to bring it to Broadway in the fall. No New York dates or venue have been announced.
In the show, Nadler deconstructs the Ira Gershwin-Kurt Weill specialty patter song, "Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians)" — made famous by Danny Kaye in Lady in the Dark — and connects the dots between the classical composers listed in the lyric and writers and the American pop songbook.
Pianist-singer-writer-arranger Nadler starred in and co-wrote the Off-Broadway Gershwin revue, American Rhapsody, which was nominated for a 2001 Drama Desk and two Lucille Lortel Awards and received the Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) Award for Outstanding Musical Revue. Regularly appearing at New York City's landmark cabaret The Algonquin, Nadler created and starred in over a dozen shows based on the great American songbook. He has received four MAC awards for Outstanding Musical Comedy Performer and was awarded the Backstage Bistro Award for "Continuing to Raise the Standards of Cabaret Performance" (2003), as well as Outstanding Singer/Instrumentalist and Outstanding Direction. He has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra, New York City's Town Hall, and has been a soloist with the Baltimore, Indianapolis and Oregon Symphonies as well as The National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. He has played in the major nightclubs in New York City and Los Angeles, and has performed abroad in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Belgium, Holland and Australia.
On Broadway, Nadler appeared as "The Fingers on the Keys" in Dame Edna: The Royal Tour and as "Pinky Pickles" in The Sheik of Avenue B, as well as numerous productions Off-Broadway and regionally. He also co-wrote, directed and starred in The Nose Knows, a tribute to Jimmy Durante for the "Reel to Real" series at Lincoln Center and arranged and coached Glenn Close's performance of "Bye Bye Blackbird" for the 1985 film "Maxie."
Director Waldrop's credits include Bea Arthur On Broadway and the Drama Desk Award-winning Off-Broadway revue When Pigs Fly, for which he also provided book and lyrics.
The Royal George is located at 1641 North Halsted Street in Chicago. Russian on the Side will play Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 5 PM & 9 PM, and Sundays at 3 PM & 5:30 PM. Special Wednesday matinees are scheduled for May 14, May 28 and June 11 at 2 PM, and will replace Tuesday night performances those weeks. There will be a Monday night performance on June 2 at 7:30 PM. There will be no performances on April 27 and June 7.
Tickets, priced from $34.50 to $55.00, will go on sale March 14 at 10 AM, via the Royal George Theatre box office, by calling (312) 988-9000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. For group sales call Group Theater Tix at (312) 423-6612.
For more information visit www.RussianOnTheSideOnline.com.