So what's the latest on the new musical based on the film comedy, The Night They Raided Minksy's?
Lyricist Susan Birkenhead has been collaborating with composer Charles Strouse on the show, which will have a libretto by Evan Hunter (novelist of the Ed McBain mystery series). Mike Ockrent will direct.
"It's a real `guy' thing," said Birkenhead (Oct. 6), currently gearing up for opening night of Triumph Of Love. "I'm having the best time with these guys. It's so completely different from these other worlds. It's a funny, funny book."
Tentative songs and titles in the score include, "Words," "Poor Cleopatra, The Queen Of The Nile;" (a burlesque song) and "A Fraction Of An Inch."
Said Birkenhead, "The producer, Timothy Childs, wanted to have a reading of it in October, but now it depends on everybody's schedule. Mike is busy all the time, Charles always has projects in the pipeline. They're pressing all the time." Reached Oct. 13, producer Childs told Playbill On-Line it was too early to set dates for Minsky's because, "It's still being written; we're a long way away." Nevertheless, a New York reading is now planned for December. "We have great hopes for it," Childs said of the project.
The Night They Raided Minsky's was filmed by William Friedkin in 1968. This story of the end of the burlesque era in Manhattan featured Jason Robards, Elliott Gould and Bert Lahr.
--By David Lefkowitz