The non-Equity staging is meant to secure interest in a Broadway production of the musical that tells the tale of the famed silent film star, Rudolph Valentino, whose death was said to prompt women to suicide.
Produced by Hollywoodland Productions, the musical has a score by Charles Mandracchia and story, book and lyrics by Francesca DiGiosa and Mandracchia.
DiGiosa said the destruction of the production elements was painful (the total loss was more than $100,000), but the show will go on. She said the book, music and lyrics are the heart of any show, and it should be judged on its writing and not necessarily its physical trappings. Shows April 22-24 are considered private previews by invitation, DiGiosa said. The first public performance is April 25.
"The show will go on and we will overcome all of it," DiGiosa told Playbill On-Line.
Valentino, The Musical"recreates the spellbinding legend of 'The World's Greatest Lover,' Rudolph Valentino — the first romantic screen idol and only star past or present whose untimely death at 31 prompted numerous suicides worldwide," according to production notes. "In spite of being adored by millions of women he had only one love —Natacha— with whom he entered a passionate yet sometimes turbulent marriage. Natacha encouraged him to stand up to the powers that be. In turn, the Hollywood chieftains loathed her and her hold on their star." The musical was seen at the Judith Anderson Theatre in New York, in showcase form, in 1998, and played a benefit performance in Los Angeles in summer 2001, at an annual memorial event held for Valentino. A CD has been recorded and marketed on Hollywoodland's website.
Co-writer DiGiosa called the show a traditional book musical. Ryan Hunt is musical director.
As an actor, Mandracchia appeared in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions (including Grand Hotel). As a vocal consultant, he has coached musical talent for Atlantic, Epic, Sony and Warner Brothers Records. Di Giosa is a veteran of film and network television (ABC, NBC and CBS) and has staged work in New York.
Performances play 8 PM Tuesday-Sunday, with matinee performances 2 PM Saturday & Sunday. The American Theatre of Actors is 314 W. 54th Street. Tickets are $30. For information, call (212) 206-1515 or visit www.smarttix.com.
For more information, visit www.valentinothemusical.