Tally Sessions Joins Cast of Strouse & Adams’ Rarely Seen Pre-Bye Bye Birdie Musical

Cabaret & Concert News   Tally Sessions Joins Cast of Strouse & Adams’ Rarely Seen Pre-Bye Bye Birdie Musical
Ed Dixon and Sally Ann Triplett star in the January 24 concert performance of A Pound in Your Pocket.
Tally Sessions
Tally Sessions

Tally Sessions has joined the cast of the rarely seen musical A Pound in Your Pocket, which is getting a concert performance January 24, 2018, at 7 PM at Feinstein’s/54 Below supper club in New York City.

In 1958, two years before Bye Bye Birdie and a decade and a half before Annie, composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams began their theatre songwriting career as a team with the little musical, which has rarely been heard about since. The performance will be directed by Steven Carl McCasland as part of the club’s Second Act Series.

Sessions, who will play the role of Dick Swiveller, has understudied major roles in recent Broadway musicals War Paint, Falsettos, Cirque du Soleil Paramour, and School of Rock, appeared in his own club show, A Fine Bromance, with Jeff Kready at Feinstein’s/54 Below in October.

The concert also will star the previously announced Drama Desk Award winner Ed Dixon (Anything Goes, Sunday in the Park With George) as Sampson Brass and Sally Ann Triplett (The Last Ship, Finding Neverland) as Sally Brass. Joining them as The Small Servant Girl will be Abbey Jasmine Rose, who was hand-picked by the show's composer to reprise her turn after first playing the role in a 2016 King's College production.

Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams, who were introduced to each other through a cousin, wrote this, their first show together, based on Charles Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop about a teenage girl who lives with her grandfather in the shop. Strouse told Playbill, “I believe Lee discovered it through a radio play that had been written for Helen Hayes. We both thought it would make a fun musical.”

Written while the two were still in their 30s, A Pound in Your Pocket wasn’t intended for Broadway. “We never had the balls to aim as high as Broadway,“ he said. ”We didn't think it was a commercial piece, but a producer named Phil Burton championed it. It was done in Florida and critically acclaimed. It was performed with piano and percussion. I was the pianist. Dody Goodman, Helen Gallagher, and Melville Cooper were all in the cast!“

In addition to the title song, the score includes titles “Simple Girl,” “The Best Ain't Good Enough,” “Sleeping Dreams, Waking Dreams,” and what Strouse describes as “a lovely ballad” called “Someone Who Cares.” He said all the songs will sound fresh to fans’ ears because none were ever pulled out of a trunk for his many future shows, which also included Golden Boy, Nick & Nora, All-American, and the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Applause.

Strouse is finding a home for some of his “lost” scores at Feinstein”s/54 Below. His one-performance A Broadway Musical was given a concert staging there on July 16, and the Second Act Series mounted his Bye Bye Birdie sequel, Bring Back Birdie, there on November 1.

Tickets, which cost $25–$60 plus a food/beverage minimum of $25, can be ordered by clicking here. Feinstein’s/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street, beneath Studio 54, in Manhattan.

Sessions is scheduled to return to the club January 29 when he co-stars in another concert performance, for the musical Calamity Jane.


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