Ticket sales have been disappointing for Melting Pot Theatre's revival of the American musical cavalcade, Tintypes, prompting the company to shutter the show Dec. 16 rather than play out its run to Dec. 30.
The musical, which mixes traditional and popular songs from turn-of-the-century America, celebrates its 20th anniversary with this first New York revival, which opened Nov. 20 at the McGinn Cazale Theatre Off-Broadway.
Employing early 20th Century hits like "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Grand Ole Flag" and "Motherless Child," Tintypes tells the story of pre-World War I America through the personalities of the times, including President Theodore Roosevelt, anarchist Emma Goldman and naughty, but glamorous Broadway star Anna Held, who inspired Ziegfeld's Follies. Nominated for three Tony Awards in 1981, Tintypes was conceived by Mary Kyte, Mel Marvin and Gary Peale. Director Jerry Zaks and Lynne Thigpen were featured in the original company.
The original staging was embraced for its refreshing simplicity and its lack of pretension, offering a snapshot of a time when America seemed simpler. (In fact, as the musical suggests, the 1900 era was roiling with as much social, political and sexual upheaval as 1980). The original production was preserved in a video performance seen on TV.
Nick Corley directs for the Melting Pot. The company is Johmaalya Adelekan (Ragtime), Josh Alexander (Taller Than a Dwarf), Mark Lotito (Marie Christine, Victor/Victoria), Michele Ragusa (Ragtime, Titanic) and Christine Rea (Jesus Christ Superstar). Jennifer Paulson Lee choreographs. Musical direction is by Greg Pliska. Michael Brown (The Price, Unwrap Your Candy) designed the set with lighting by Jeff Croiter and costumes by Daryl Stone (Cobb).
Tickets are $45. The Melting Pot Theatre stages Tintypes at their new home, the McGinn Cazale Theatre at 2162 Broadway at 76th Street. For tickets, call (212) 279 4200.
— By Kenneth Jones
and Christine Ehren