Irving Berlin's little-known 1932 musical, Face the Music, comes to life June 11-23 in a New York City concert reading from Musicals Tonight!, the shoestring non profit troupe that revisits out-of-the way scores.
Tom Mills directs the staging, which will interpolate four Berlin numbers cut from the show ("Two Cheers Instead of Three," "How Can I Change My Luck?," "The Police of New York," "The Nudist Colony") and two Berlin songs from the era but not attached to shows ("Let Me Sing and I'm Happy," "When the Folks High Up Do the Mean Low Down"). Mark Hartman is musical director. Moss Hart penned the book. George S. Kaufman was the original director.
The show concerns a producer trying to raise money for a musical, Rhinestones of 1932. Various chorus folk, rich folk, poor folk and others get involved. The flop show becomes a hit when racy material is added to it, bringing in the vice squad — and publicity.
Songs include "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee," "On a Roof in Manhattan," "Soft Lights and Sweet Music," "I Say It's Spinach and the Hell With It," "Well, of All the Rotten Shows," "You Must Be Born With It," "I Don't Wanna Be Married."
The cast includes Randall Frizado, David Beris, Virginia Seidel, Nanne Puritz, Julian Rebolledo, Josh Walden, Vanessa Lemonides, Larry Brustofksi, Cynthia Collins, Nora Edie, Judy Fitzgerald, Al Gillespie, Tiffany Hampton, Barry James, David Macaluso, T.J. Mannix and Tory Ross. Tickets are $19. Performances are at 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th Street. Show times vary, so call ahead. For information or reservations, call (212) 362-0713.
Face the Music ran 165 performances at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
— By Kenneth Jones