A movie musical partnership splinters on live TV in the new musical, Buck Simple, getting a three-performance concert reading in the "Garrick Gaieties" series Jan. 17, 24 and 31 in New York City.
Librettist-actor Craig Fols told Playbill On-Line (Jan. 15) he uses the movie personas of '50s stars like Doris Day and Rock Hudson as a "point of departure" for his musical comedy about an actress who learns her longtime co-star and fiancee is gay in 1950s Hollywood.
The script began as a one-act play and was eventually expanded to two acts, got published and then rewritten by Fols as a musical, with pastiche songs by Larry Bortniker. Both are participants in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
Fols said the score is made up of presentational songs ("numbers") that represent the movie repertoire of fictional Buck Harwood and Lois O'Dare. The lyrics ironically echo their feelings about one another as their relationship shifts.
The bare-bones cabaret staging is directed by Don Stephenson (Parade) and choreographed by Emily Loesser (Titanic). Featured in the staging are Fols (Nasty Little Secrets), Josie DeGuzman (Guys and Dolls) and Ray DeMattis (Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know).
Fols said his goal is to get exposure for his show toward a fuller production.
Performances are 9 PM, seating at 8 PM. Cover charge is $10 with a $15 food/drink minimum.
The intimate 50-seat Garrick restaurant in the Mayfair Hotel (242 W. 49th St.) is the setting for the "Garrick Gaieties," booked by producer Scott Perrin. Buck Simple is part of the "New Faces 99" shows there, offering a forum for new works and young, emerging or lesser known solo acts.
Call (212) 489-8600 for reservations.
-- By Kenneth Jones