Goodspeed's The Boy Friend Cools Its Heels; Tour Ends March 5

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05 Mar 2006

Sean Palmer and Jessica Grov
Sean Palmer and Jessica Grov
Photo by Diane Sobolewski
The Goodspeed Musicals production of Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend, directed by Julie Andrews, ends its national tour March 5 at Denver Center's Buell Theatre.

By the final performance, the production will have played 252 performances, which includes performances at Goodspeed Musicals' Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, in summer 2005. It ran 12 weeks at Goodspeed and 21 on the road for a total of 33 weeks.

During the run Eric Daniel Santagata replaced Rick Faugno as Bobby. There were some swing and ensemble changes over the months, too.

"We are thrilled with the results of our first touring venture as producer," Goodspeed Musicals' executive director Michael P. Price told Playbill.com. "I am grateful and awed by such a terrific director and creative team along with an amazing cast. All of them made Goodspeed proud as they carried our banner across North America."

The final tour cast includes Bethe Austin, Margot de La Barre, Andrea Chamberlain, Krysta Rodriguez, Kirsten Wyatt, Jessica Grove, Jordan Cable, Scott Barnhardt Andrew Briedis, Nancy Hess, Eric Daniel Santagata, Paul Carlin, Sean Palmer, Colin Cunliffe, Pamela Otterson, Drew Eshelman, Darcy Pulliam, Tom Souhrada, Mike Frankey, Marissa Joy Ganz.



Stage manager is Bradley G. Spachman, assistant stage manager is Deborah D. Raulerson, dance captain is Margot de La Barre.

Music director/conductor is F. Wade Russo.

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Goodspeed Musicals' revised version of Sandy Wilson's spoof of 1920s musicals, The Boy Friend, opened at the Goodspeed Opera House Aug. 3, 2005, following previews since July 8. The troupe danced the Charleston under the direction of showbiz legend Julie Andrews, the actress who created "Mary Poppins" on film, and starred in the original productions of My Fair Lady and Camelot.

Jessica Grové played Miss Dorothy late in the run of Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie, stars as Polly Browne in the Goodspeed revised revival of the show that has book, music and lyrics by Wilson. The show's first Broadway Polly was Julie Andrews herself.

The production played the Goodspeed Opera House through Sept. 24, which reflected a one-week extension. The Goodspeed-produced national tour began in Wilmington, DE.

Oscar and Emmy Award-winner Julie Andrews made her Broadway debut with the musical in 1954; the show originated in London, but not with Andrews.

Wilson, who is still around to see the show 50 years after its debut, sends up and celebrates musicals of the 1920s with his romantic, dance-filled musical. In summer 2005, he attended the Goodspeed production and gave his stamp of approval to the revival.

Among amendments to the script is the change from three acts to two.

"Amidst happy flappers and perfect young ladies, romance blooms on the French Riviera as an English heiress suddenly falls for the delivery boy," according to Goodspeed.

Jessica Grové was seen in Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie and Les Misérables and received a Jefferson nomination for her role as Dorothy in Radio City Entertainment's The Wizard of Oz .

Andrews originally created this version of The Boy Friend for the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY in August 2003.

Choreography is by John DeLuca. The musical director for The Boy Friend at Goodspeed was Michael O'Flaherty. F. Wade Russo is assistant music director with orchestrations by Dan DeLange.

Scenic and costume design is by Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award-winning Tony Walton (Andrews' close pal and former husband), with Kelly Hanson as associate scenic designer and Rachel Navarro as co-costume designer. Lighting is designed by Richard Pilbrow.

The show's musical numbers, according to the Goodspeed program, are "Perfect Young Ladies," "The Boy Friend," "Won't You Charleston with Me?," "Fancy Forgetting," "I Could Be Happy with You," "Sur Le Plage," "A Room in Bloomsbury," "Nicer in Nice," "The You Don't Want to Play with Me Blues," "Safety in Numbers," "The Riviera," "It's Never Too Late to Fall in Love," "Carnival Tango" and "Poor Little Pierrette."

The Boy Friend is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.

For more information, visit www.goodspeed.org.