Back in November 1997, a revised version of Steve Allen's musical, Seymour Glick Is Alive But Sick, played at NY's Queens Theatre in the Park and then went on to a brief run in Florida. Nothing came of that production, but Allen tinkered with the material a bit more, and now the show will have a new Off-Broadway incarnation (in an unconnected production) with a new title, Side By Side By Seymour Glick. (The title, of course, spoofs the well-known revue, Side By Side By Sondheim.)
First staged in 1980 as a cabaret piece at the St. Regis Hotel, Glick takes a satirical look at the music biz. Allen himself starred in a 1982 mounting of Alive But Sick at the St. Regis Hotel.
This parody of "and-then-he-wrote" revues stars Kristine Nevins, Tracy Rosten, Tom Schmid and Amy Soucy. Robert Armin, director of Side By Side, also serves as the evening's master of ceremonies. Armin directed Say Darling and Stalking The Nightmare. According to production spokesperson Scotti Rhodes, after Glick, Armin will work with Steve Allen again, adapting the entertainer's book, "Dumbth" into a musical.
Steve Liebman, who penned the recent, well-received Off-Broadway musical, The Great Gilly Hopkins serves as musical director for Glick, which runs May 15-June 8 at the West End Theatre on West 86th St.
Asked how Glick came to the West End Theatre, Armin told Playbill On-Line (Apr. 28), "We had thought about reviving [Jule Styne's] Do Re Mi but couldn't get the right cast together. So Steve [Allen] had sent me a copy of Seymour Glick, and on a whim I thought it would be fun to put it together quickly. They were enthusiastic about it too. So Steve Liebman took Steve's Allen's lead sheets and came up with the arrangements himself." "Over the years, I don't think the show has ever been done quite the same twice," Armin added, "since it's really a collection of [Allen's] comedy songs and introductions to them, sometimes with topical material. We're approaching the songs as if they were serious pieces by a real composer -- which makes them more hilarious." Tunes in the show include "Carnival in Rio," "Flop Sweat," "Mouth To Mouth Resuscitation" and "I Love Sad Songs By The French."
Best known as a TV talk-show host, Allen starred in the film The Benny Goodman Story, wrote 45 books, and has composed hundreds of songs.
For tickets ($12) and information on Side By Side By Seymour Glick call (212) 866-4454.
-- By David Lefkowitz