In recent years, JRT has been staging concert readings of shows rather than presenting fully-staged seasons. Artistic director Ran Avni told Playbill On-Line the troupe's focus lately is concerts of musicals that deserve a second look, or shows that JRT has staged in the past.
Stuart Zagnit, who played Jacobowsky in the 1988 JRT revised revival, will stage and star in the concert presentation. The show, which features the cabaret and audition favorite, "Marianne," has music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble. It follows the unusual friendship between a Polish colonel and the Jewish Jacobowsky who are on the run across Europe during World War II. Jacobowsky finds himself attracted to the colonel's lover, Marianne.
Avni said the 1988 production was "a pocket musical version of the original, focusing on the relationship between Jacobowsky and the Colonel, and less about the transportation aspect of the show," which had characters motoring from place to place on a quest. Avni said Herman was a fan of the JRT staging and has been invited to the new performances.
Alert fans of Herman's work will note some musical phrases from the 1979 score were interpolated into his latest score, Miss Spectacular, a show written in the 1990s for Las Vegas and now available on CD. The JRT cast includes Paul Ukena as the Colonel, Kim Lindsay as Marianne, Stuart Zagnit as Jacobowsky, Don Atkinson, Geanne Montano, John Morgan, Cyhtia Sophiea, Steve Sterner and Kenny Boys. Albert Ahronheim will be musical director.
On Broadway, The Grand Tour originally starred Joel Grey, Ron Holgate and Florence Lacey in the triangle. The musical's source material, Jacobowsky and the Colonel, is play by Franz Werfel.
The score includes "I'll Be Here Tomorrow," "You I Like," "For Poland," "I Belong Here," "I Think I Think," "More and More"/"Less and Less," "We're Almost There," "One Extraordinary Thing" and more. The show ran 61 performances at the Palace Theatre in 1979.
JRT performances are 8 PM Jan. 23, 3 and 7 PM Jan. 26 and 2 PM Jan. 27 at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street. All tickets are $35 and can be purchased by calling (917) 606-8200.