"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 is now in its sixth season (Apr. 8-Dec. 20) of "Lost Musicals," with 1998 entries dedicated to "Delicious Dames of Broadway -- that is, "great female musical comedy stars of yesterday," featuring roles made famous by and Gwen Verdon, Gertrude Lawrence, Shirley Booth and La Merm.
Following the season opener, Do I Hear A Waltz?, SF's Moon will go Girl Crazy, with such George & Ira Gershwin tunes as "I Got Rhythm," and "But Not For Me." Dyan McBride stars in the 1930 show, Aug. 5-23, opening Aug. 6.
The story concerns a young spendthrift sent away to an all-male college college by his dad. The boy falls for the dean's niece, who's more concerned with keeping the school financially solvent.
Guy Bolton and Jack McGowan penned the libretto for this 1930 show that launched Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers. The musical was made into a 1943 Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland film, and more recently extensively revised by Ken Ludwig into Crazy For You.
Co-starring in the SF mounting are Lisa Peers, Joshua Brown, Brandon Adams, Bill Fahrner, Anthony Martinez and Greg Grabow. Roy Casstevens directs, with Berle Davis serving as choreographer. *
September at 42nd Street Moon brings 1959's Redhead, by Albert Hague and Dorothy Fields. Gwen Verdon originally starred in this musical about a woman who has visions of a killer stalking Victorian London. Lesley Hamilton now has the role, Sept. 2-20, opening Sept. 3.
Another Dorothy Fields piece, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, sprouts Sept. 30-Oct. 18, opening Oct. 1. Shirley Boot starred in the 1951 premiere of this musical drama about a troubled marriage in turn-of-the-century New York.
Cole Porter's 1933 Nymph Errant was a London hit for Gertrude Lawrence but didn't have an American staging until the early 1980s. Songs in the show, running Oct. 28-Nov. 15, opening Oct. 29, include "It's Bad For Me" and "The Physician."
Finishing the season will be Call Me Madam, a satire of Washington politics. Meg Mackay will take on the Ethel Merman role as the "Hostess With The Mostes'" Nov. 25-Dec. 20, opening Nov. 25.
Founded in 1993, 42nd Street Moon recently released its first CD of the "Lost Musicals Recording Series," Something for the Boys. 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 ($16.50-$20; $99 subscriptions) and information on 42nd Street Moon's "Delicious Dames Of Broadway" series, 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