By Andrew Gans
07 Jan 2007
In a recent statement producer Scott Zeiger said, "There is no harder working star than Martin Short. He has given himself tirelessly and brilliantly to this project for over a year, and played eights shows a week for more than 250 performances with no understudy and no break, unheard of in a musical role of this magnitude. We're proud to be able to go out on top, having played only profitable weeks on Broadway, and allow Marty time to shoot 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' prior to beginning rehearsals for our national tour."
Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me — which played tryouts in San Francisco, Toronto and Chicago — was conceived by Tony Award winner Short (Little Me) and Hairspray's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The production featured music by Shaiman (also a cast member), lyrics by Wittman and Shaiman and direction by Wittman. Charlie Alterman was the musical director. Wittman and Shaiman's Fame Becomes Me score includes such tunes as "Stepbrother de Jesus," "12 Step Pappy" and "Sniff, Sniff."
Daniel Goldfarb co-wrote the book, and Alan Zweibel was also part of the creative team, providing "additional material."
The company featured Brooks Ashmanskas, Mary Birdsong, Capathia Jenkins, Donna Vivino and onstage musical director Shaiman. Nicole Parker, who was an original cast member of Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, returned to the production Dec. 26.
The structural nature of the long-gestating show is described thusly: "Leading the audience through a breathless 100 minute romp, Short re-enacts such imagined lifetime high points as his birth in 1976; his abusive father, a legendary Saskatchewan song and dance man; his heartbreaking Golden Globe-nominated performance as a mentally challenged concentration camp survivor and even his afterlife in show biz heaven. Along the way, superstars including Sarah Jessica Parker, Liz Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Jodi Foster and Renee Zellweger are conjured nightly along side Short's unforgettable characters Jiminy Glick, Ed Grimley and Irving Cohen."
Among the many celebrities who have taken part in the celebrity-interview portion of the show — where they are interviewed by Short's alter ego Jiminy Glick — are Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Nathan Lane, Rosie O'Donnell, Conan O'Brien, Rosanne Barr, Jimmy Fallon, Regis Philbin, Al Roker, Stephen Colbert, Stanley Tucci, Dennis Miller, Kristin Chenoweth, James Belushi, Tracey Ullman, Martha Stewart, Larry King and Bette Midler.
An original cast recording of Fame Becomes Me will be released in February 2007 on the Ghostlight Records label.
For more information visit www.martinshortthemusical.com.