To celebrate the Richard Rodgers centennial, 42nd Street Moon, one of the country's first "lost musical" concert companies, will present five works by the late composer whose collaborations with Lorenz Hart (On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, I Married an Angel, The Boys from Syracuse, Pal Joey, By Jupiter) and Oscar Hammerstein II (Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music) were equally fruitful.
The five Rodgers works will be part of San Francisco based 42nd Street Moon's 10th anniversary season, commencing April 19 with By Jupiter, the 1942 musical that featured lyrics by Hart, a book by Herbert Fields and such songs as "Nobody's Heart," "Ev'rything I've Got," "Wait Till You See Her" and "Jupiter Forbid." By Jupiter runs April 19-May 12 and will be followed by a production of Pipe Dream, the 1955 musical based on John Steinbeck's "Sweet Thursday." Pipe Dream, which features book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, follows the story of Suzy, a homeless girl who is taken in by a kind-hearted madam of a local bordello, where she works until she meets a marine biologist. Meg Mackay is set to star as the madam with Marcie Henderson as Suzy and Jackson Davis as the marine biologist. Pipe Dream plays May 22-June 29.
The three other Rodgers musicals set for the season include A Connecticut Yankee (Aug. 22-25), 1926's Peggy-Ann (Nov. 1-17) and Ever Green (Nov. 29-Dec. 15). The final offering, Ever Green, marks the American premiere of this 1930 Rodgers-Hart-Benn W. Levy musical and includes the tunes "Dancing on the Ceiling," "In the Cool of the Evening" and "The Color of Her Eyes."
A non-profit company devoted to the preservation and performance of classic American musical theatre, 42nd Street Moon derives its name from the early moniker for the bright lights of New York's 42nd Street. During its first 10 years the company has presented nearly 20 staged concerts of rarely performed musicals. For tickets and subscriptions, call (415) 255-8207. The 42nd Street Moon's home base is the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson in San Francisco, CA.
* The country is mad about classic musicals in concert: New York has Encores!, Musicals in Mufti and Musicals Tonight, Chicago has Ovations!, Los Angeles has Reprise and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, will offer concerts of Babes in Arms and Carmen Jones in fall 2002.
—By Andrew Gans