Rodgers and Hart's The Girl Friend Sings in NYC to June 6

News   Rodgers and Hart's The Girl Friend Sings in NYC to June 6 Musicals Tonight, the shoestring-budget concert series of lesser-known musicals, opened Rodgers and Hart's The Girl Friend May 18 for a run lasting to June 6.
Richard Rodgers (left) and Lorenz Hart
Richard Rodgers (left) and Lorenz Hart

"The Girl Friend is one of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's earliest shows and opened at the Vanderbilt Theatre on March 17, 1926 to a run of 301 performances (a little over a year later, a London version of the show would run for 421 performances)," according to Musicals Tonight. "After their success with Dearest Enemy (another Musicals Tonight revival), the young songwriters teamed again with librettist Herbert Fields. The original production was a vehicle for the husband and wife dance team Eva Puck and Sammy White.  They introduced the Charleston-styled title song ('The Girl Friend') and one of the composers' loveliest ballads — 'The Blue Room.'"

Other songs in the score include "The Damsel Who Done All The Dirt," "Good Fellow Mine," "The Simple Life," "Why Do I" and "I'd Like to Take You Home."  Two songs cut from the original Broadway production have been added to the MT revival: "The Pipes of Pansy" and "Sleepyhead."

In the show, Leonard Silver (Ashton Byrum) aspires to be a professional rider in the six-day bicycle races which were very popular at the time.  Influential sports promoter Arthur Spencer (Trip Plymale) visits Lenny's "training camp" — the farm of his Aunt (Celia Tackaberry).

Spencer's entourage includes his flirtatious sister (Nanne Puritz), her stuffy fiancé (Allan Snyder), their champion racer (Todd Buonapane) and his girl friend (Jennifer Winegardner).  The visit is prompted by letters of recommendation from well-known racers all forged by Lenny's trainer and girl friend (Carey Anderson).  Joining the principals in The Velodrome are Bruce Sabath, Rickey Alfonso Eubanks, Stephen Brockway, Michael Shane Ellis, Sarah Farnam, Elizabeth Ingram, Tim Roberts, David Michael Roth, Hollis Scarborough and Stephanie Waters.

Manhattan performances play Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM at The MainStage of the 14th Street YMHA, 344 East 14th Street (between First and Second Avenues). Tickets are $19. For reservations call (212) 868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.