Long Islanders will be able to tune into Jukebox Dreams, a brand new musical written by and starring pop performer and telethon stalwart, Tony Orlando, as part of the 1997-98 season at Westbury Music Fair.
The Great American Musical Series Part III this season will include Crazy For You with TV actress Morgan Brittany, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Jeannie herself, Barbara Eden.
The season starts tonight, so here's the full Westbury Musical Series line up for 1997-98:
West Side Story (Sept. 16-21)
With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this classic adapts Romeo & Juliet to gang warfare in 1950s New York tenements. Starring are Francine Sama (replacing Eva LaRue) and Brian Lane Green as Maria and Tony. Norb Joerder directs.
Green starred on Broadway as Huck Finn in Big River and on TV in "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" and in several soap operas. Green recently toured as Joseph in Dreamcoat and was a best actor Tony nominee for playing Spacepunk in Broadway's Starmites. He'll also brought his cabaret act to NY's Eighty-Eights, Aug. 18-20. Download audio clips from Green's new solo album on Playbill On-Line. Sama comes to Story by way of NBC's new soap, "Sunset Beach."
Songs in the show include "Tonight," "Somewhere" and "America."
Crazy For You (Oct. 28-Nov. 2)
Morgan Brittany and actor/comedian Avery Schreiber head up this zany musical farce, which plugs Gershwin tunes into a script by Ken Ludwig. The mustachioed Schreiber may best be known for his 1970s corn chips commercials, but he's also a regular on NY stages, from 1967's How To Be A Jewish Mother to 1989's Broadway musical Welcome To The Club to 1995's Awake And Sing at Jewish Repertory Theatre. Schreiber served as artistic director (1989-92) of the now-defunct Jupiter Theatre in Florida.
Brittany played Pam Ewing's sister on TV's "Dallas" and played Baby June in the original film of the musical Gypsy. She toured in the 30th anniversary national tour in the title role of Mame.
Jukebox Dreams (Feb. 17-22, 1998)
After having tried out in Atlantic City, NJ, this Tony Orlando musical comes to Westbury. Set in present-day NYC, Dreams tells the true story of a teenage doo-wop group who remained friends into adulthood. Orlando plays a New York City cabdriver "truly lost in the sights, sounds and values of the 50s." According to the show's press release, "Orlando takes the audience n a doo-wop serenade showing the power of one man's dreams."
The first vocal artist to sign with Epic Records, Orlando became a household name with his CBS television variety show ("Tony Orlando & Dawn") and his 23 consecutive appearances on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. He's currently in his fifth season at the Tony Orlando Yellow Ribbon Music Theatre in Branson, MO.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (April 28-May 3)
The musical that made Carol Channing a household name will feature another household name: Barbara Eden, of TV's "I Dream Of Jeannie." KT Sullivan starred in a recent Broadway revival of this Jule Styne/Leo Robin show.
Eden's previous shows at Westbury Music Fair include Same Time Next Year and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. She toured with Don Knotts in The Last Of The Red Hot Lovers and starred at Night Club Confidential CA's Long Beach Civic Light Opera.
Subscriptions range from $75-$120. For information on the season call (516) 334-0800.
--By David Lefkowitz