Originally produced at the Vineyard Theatre in 2006, the entire original cast — including co-creators Jeff Bowen (score) and Hunter Bell (book) as well as co-stars Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff — have made the leap to the Broadway stage. A Chorus Line's Michael Berresse, who helmed the acclaimed Off-Broadway run, also directs the Broadway version, which features musical director-arranger Larry Pressgrove onstage playing the electric keyboard. (Standbys are Courtney Balan and Benjamin Howes.)
A day before his show's official opening on The Great White Way, co-star and co-creator Bell told Playbill.com, "There are so many feelings jumbled in my head...This is all so surreal, but what kind of hops out is joy, because this is a dream come true and gratitude for all the peeps who have helped make this happen. It does feel like Cinderella getting to go to the ball, but Cinderella also worked her ass off — and we have, too, so yeah, Cinderella at the ball. And no matter what happens from here on out, I'm so proud we've made it this far and in the smallest of ways are a part of Broadway history. Nutty and awesome!"
[title of show], according to press notes, "takes a thoroughly unique and comical look at the pleasures and perils of the artistic process as two struggling writers [Bell and Bowen] and two struggling actresses [Blackwell and Bickenstaff] take on the seemingly impossible task of creating a new musical about creating a new musical. Now with Broadway as their destination, the quartet's saga continues anew as they face mounting pressures and deadlines, and are nearly thrown off-track by disagreements, day jobs and insecurities in this funny and unforgettable look at the birth of a musical as it finally comes to life on the Great White Way."
About the changes that have been made to the musical for the Broadway run, co-star Blickenstaff recently told Playbill.com, "Because we essentially had almost two years off . . . we had to incorporate all of that waiting, so the back third has been completely restructured to include the last year-and-a-half. The show's not any longer. It's still 90 minutes. We were able to kind of give the show a haircut and take off the parts that didn't quite work or that we wished we could make a little better, we made better. We changed some things, and then we added the last year-and-a-half to the back third." The creative team also includes Neil Patel (set design), Chase Tyler (costume design), Ken Billington and Jason Kantrowitz (lighting design) and ACME Sound Partners (sound design).
Producer McCollum, whose resume also boasts Rent, Avenue Q, The Drowsy Chaperone and this past season's In the Heights, said in a previous statement, "I fell in love with [title of show] because it shamelessly and fearlessly explores the vagaries and inner workings of how to get a musical produced. The exuberant way it captures the insanity of the creative process is full of surprises and truth, and that its journey now comes full circle by kicking off the Broadway season seems only natural."
[title of show] debuted in 2004 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Bowen, Bell and Berresse each won a 2006 Obie Award for work on the subsequent 2006 Off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theatre.
An original cast recording was released on Ghostlight Records, and the creators have kept the show alive through the internet series, "The [title of show] Show," which is available for viewing by visiting www.titleofshow.com/toscasts.htm. The webcast is all about the troupers' seemingly improbable notion of getting [title of show] to Broadway.
Song titles include "Untitled Opening Number," "Two Nobodies in New York," "An Original Musical," "Monkeys and Playbills," "Part of It All," "I Am Playing Me," "What Kind of Girl Is She?," "Die Vampire, Die!," "Filling Out the Form," "September Song," "Secondary Characters," "Development Medley," "Change It, Don't Change It"/"Awkward Photo Shoot," "A Way Back to Then," "Nine People's Favorite Thing" and "Finale."
It was recently announced that The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization has acquired the stock and amateur rights to [title of show]. The Organization will also represent Bowen's score through Williamson Music, which is currently developing a song book that will reflect the latest incarnation of the musical. Stock and amateur rights to [title of show] are not currently available, although when rights do become available, the news will be announced on the R&H website, www.rnh.com.
Show times at the Lyceum are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 3 and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 and 7 PM.
Tickets are priced $26.50, $51.50 and $101.50, with the exception of Saturday matinee and evening performances, which are priced $36.50, $61.50 and $111.50. The Lyceum Theatre is located in Manhattan at 149 West 45th Street. For more information visit www.titleofshow.com.