At Home Abroad Concert, With Bruce Vilanch, Christine Pedi and More, Is Part of UnsungMusicals' 2012-13 Season
By Michael Gioia
Bruce Vilanch, Julie Halston, Christine Pedi, Noah Racey and Margaret Colin are among the artists who will take part in a one-night-only benefit concert of the 1935 musical revue At Home Abroad, as part of UnsungMusicalsCo.'s 2012-13 season.
At Home Abroad, which will kick off the company's season Oct. 15 at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, is directed by UMC artistic director Ben West. Written by Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, the work has been newly restored and adapted from the original manuscripts.
The cast features Fred Berman (The Lion King), Obie Award winner Donna Bullock (Ragtime, A Class Act), Colin (The Columnist, Defiance, Arcadia), Rachel de Benedet (Catch Me If You Can), Drew Gehling (On a Clear Day…, Jersey Boys), Halston (Anything Goes, The Divine Sister), Amy Hohn (November), Catherine LeFrere (The Judy Holliday Story), Pedi (Forbidden Broadway), Racey (Curtains, Never Gonna Dance), Greg Roderick (South Pacific), Tony Award nominee Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Emmy Award winner Vilanch (Hairspray, "Hollywood Squares"), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q, Once on This Island, Rent) and Laura Woyasz (Wicked).
Here's how the concert is billed: "Captained by a terrifically tactless American tourist, At Home Abroad is a wonderfully satirical musical cruise assaulting every port from the French Riviera to the islands of Japan. This stylish entertainment sets sail for hilarity with such standards as 'What a Wonderful World,' 'Love is a Dancing Thing' and 'Got a Bran' New Suit.' UMC's concert event is conceived and staged as a live broadcast of a 1930s radio special, complete with a live jazz trio and a series of tap dance specialties. The UMC production is the first time the revue will be seen in over 70 years."
Other members of the creative team include choreographer Rommy Sandhu and lighting designer Joe Hodge. Musical direction and arrangements are by Fran Minarik.
At Home Abroad will be followed by a new production of the 1969 musical comedy The Fig Leaves Are Falling by Grammy Award winner Allan Sherman and Tony Award winner Albert Hague. Performances will begin Jan. 10, 2013, at the Connelly Theatre. UMC previously held an exploratory reading of this new version of the musical in July 2011.
The 2013 season will continue with the Tony Award-winning 1948 musical revue Lend An Ear, with sketches, lyrics and music by Charles Gaynor; a world premiere concert of Caesar's Wife by Grammy Award nominee Lee Pockriss and Tony Award nominee Carolyn Leigh, originally written circa 1969; and an exploratory reading of the 1945 musical comedy Are You With It?, featuring a book by Emmy Award winners George Balzer and Sam Perrin, music by Harry Revel and lyrics by Arnold B. Horwitt.
Additional casting, schedules and venues will be announced at a later date.
UnsungMusicalsCo. Inc., under the artistic direction of West, is a not-for-profit production company dedicated to the "preservation of musical theatre through the restoration and presentation of obscure but artistically sound works."
The Peter Norton Symphony Space is located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. For tickets to At Home Abroad, call (212) 864-5400 or visit SymphonySpace.org. For more information, visit UnsungMusicals.org.
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