Encores! In NY, Reprise in LA and Discover in London aren't the only companies bringing vintage musicals back to the stage in concert form; San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon company began its fifth season of bringing back "Lost Musicals" with Irving Berlin's Face The Music. Now Louisiana Purchase, recently brought to the concert stage by NY's Carnegie Hall, will grace 42nd Street Moon's season, April 23-May 11. Opening tonight, April 24, the 1940 Irving Berlin musical follows a Republican Senator investigating corruption in New Orleans. Mark Silence, Caroline Altman and Casey Seymour star in the farcical musical, which features such tunes as "Fools Fall In Love," and "What Chance Have I With Love." Morrie Ryskind wrote the book, based on a story by B.G. DeSylva.
Also appearing in this production, directed by Greg MacKellan, are Anna Marie Gutierrez, Don Cima, Marti Berg, Eric Letourneau, Nancy Gibbs, Paul Plain, Brandon Adams, Burr Nissen and Elisa Camahort.
* Up next will be Hugh Martin and Timothy Grey's 1964 High Spirits, based on Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. Stephanie Rhoads and Lesley Hamilton play two wives haunting a newly married man. "I Know Your Heart," "Something Tells Me" and "Forever And A Day" are songs in the show, which opens Aug. 7 and runs to Aug. 24.
* 1954's Fanny -- the first show David Merrick ever produced -- will be the fourth Moon show, telling the story of a French girl who, assuming her lover to be lost at sea, marries an older man. Harold Rome wrote the score for this S.N. Behrman and Josh Logan musical based on three plays by Marcel Pagnol. Running Sept. 3-Sept. 21, Fanny features such songs as "Panisse And Son," "To My Wife," and "Welcome Home."
* Cole Porter's Let's Face It! brings back such songs as "Everything I Love" and "You Irritate Me So" as it tells of war-time wives who take young soldiers as lovers. Herbert & Dorothy Fields wrote the book for this 1941 musical, which runs Oct. 1-19 (opening Oct. 2) and stars Lesley Hamilton. * Porter returns Oct. 29-Nov. 16 with Jubilee, which was the first 42nd Street Moon revival five years ago. A zany 1935 look at British royalty, Jubilee features such songs as "Me & Marie," "Why Shouldn't I" and "A Picture Of Me Without You."
Moon co-founders Greg MacKellan and Stephanie Rhoads received a special Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award in 1996 for the company's work. For tickets ($15.50-$18.50; $90 subscriptions) and information on 42nd Street Moon's 1997 Lost Musical Series," subtitled "The Composer And Lyricist Festival," call (415) 861-8972. For more information on other performances taking place at SF's New Conservatory Theatre on Van Ness Ave, please refer to the regional listing on Playbill On-Line.
--By David Lefkowitz