Popular demand has prompted San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon to stage a second run of its revised version of Cole Porter's 1950 musical, Out of This World, Oct. 19-29.
Greg MacKellan's adaptation of the Broadway tuner, which puts Greek gods on the prowl for Hollywood movie stars in 1950s Athens, debuted last July in San Francisco to sold-out houses. The Cole Porter Trust is making the new script the standard version for stock, amateur and professional licensing, according to the troupe, which stages concert revivals of classic musicals. Professional stagings on both coasts are being mulled for 2001.
Greg MacKellan directs the October return, with music direction by Dave Dobrusky and choreography by Jayne Zaban. Performances are at the Eureka Theatre.
The company includes John-Elliott Kirk as Jupiter, father of the gods, who has set his wandering eye on vacationing movie queen Helen Vance (Stephanie Rhoads), much to the annoyance of his wife Juno (Darlene Popovic) who assumes various mortal disguises to track down her cheating husband. The madcap adventurers are helped/hindered by Steven Rhyne as Mercury, Kurt Kroesche as Helen's husband Art O'Malley, Lisa Peers as gossip maven Isadora St. John, Caroline Altman as Chloe, Linh Kauffman as Minerva, Illana Zauderer as Venus, Matt Riutta as Apollo, Ann Magdalen as Diana, David Miailovich as Mars, Kristin Price as Night, and Mike Earley as Bacchus/Harry.
The script incorporates parts of a rewrite by the late Howard Ashman (Little Shop of Horrors, "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid"). The tuner has its roots in Plautus' Amphitryon, and over the years various revivals of the show used songs cut from the original staging (notably, "From This Moment On"). The original book is credited to Dwight Taylor and Reginald Lawrence. An Off Broadway version was cooked up by Rick Besoyan in the mid 1950s, and a 1971 version had the gods (Jupiter, Mercury, Juno, etc.) presented as hippies. The concert series Encores! revived the show at City Center and a recording was made (there is also an original cast recording) The score includes choice post-Kiss Me Kate Porter tunes, and many consider the score to be one of the strongest written by the composer-lyricist. Songs include "Nobody's Chasing Me," "Where, Oh Where?," "Use Your Imagination," "I Am Loved," "I Sleep Easier Now," "No Lover," "They Couldn't Compare to You" and "Cherry Pies Ought To Be You," Tickets range $19-$25. Eureka Theatre is at 215 Jackson (at Battery) in San Francisco. For information, call (415) 788-1125 or visit the 42nd Street Moon website at www.42ndStMoon.com.
— By Kenneth Jones