Fleshy 1970s Off-Broadway Revue Let My People Come Will Return to NYC; Casting Announced
By Adam Hetrick
The long-running, sexually charged 1974 Off-Broadway revue Let My People Come, which also played a notorious Broadway run in 1976, will return to New York in an updated version at the Underground in early 2013.
Producer John Forslund, who also presents the weekly cabaret Bound for Broadway and the N.E.W. Musicals series, was approached by Let My People Come author Earl Wilson, Jr. to re-stage the revue.
Forslund will also direct the updated version of the show that will begin previews Feb. 7, 2013, at The Underground, a performance venue located on Manhattan's Upper West Side. It will play Friday nights at 8 and 10 PM. An official opening has been set for Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2013.
Let My People Come, according to Forslund, is being re-envisioned as an interactive production. Wilson, Jr. has also revisited the material, which will reflect updates and rewrites to cover topics including gay marriage and equality. Audiences will have the opportunity to purchase special tickets that encourage or discourage the cast from interacting with them.
"This is not 1974," Forslund said. "The first time Let My People Come premiered it was very risquè. It was part of the gay movement, the Village scene and had an after-hours vibe. I'm taking more of a social point of view for it. There will be a focus on gay marriage, equality and socially-relevant topics."
While the revival will retain some of the more fleshly qualities of the original 1974 downtown production, Forslund and Wilson Jr. are keeping the nudity in check. "It's a communal experience, much like Hair," Forslund explained.
Forslund hopes to extend Let My People Come beyond its initial eight-week booking at the Underground, akin to an Awesome 80's Prom production model, with the possibility of a documentary featuring the original and revival casts, as well as a new cast recording. A future commercial life at an Equity Off-Broadway theatre is also a goal.
"I think it's the right time because of the topics we will be focusing on with this revival. We're really putting focus on equality, and gay issues, and who doesn't like a romping good time with a bit of nuidty and topics you would otherwise not discuss?" Forslund said.
The cast for the 2013 revival will include James Hansen, Diego Rios, Daniel Stevens, Molly McGivern, Haley Selmon, Amina Camille, Brian Craft, John Ryan Del Bosque, Gavin Rohrer, Mariel Blatt, Christie DaBreau and Susanna Merrick. Mark T Evans will serve as musical director.
Cast members from the original Off-Broadway run, which ran for 1,327 performances at the Village Gate, will be invited to an early performance of the new production. Risquè songs in the original include "I'm Gay," "Give It To Me," "Dirty Words," "Come In My Mouth," and "I Believe My Body." A cast album preserves the original production.
Let My People Come is one of the highest-grossing and most-attended Off-Broadway musicals to be produced worldwide. It enjoyed a successful Off-Broadway run in the 1970's, but a Broadway transfer proved ill-fated. Prior to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark's 182-show preview period, Let My People Come held the record for the longest amount of Broadway previews, at 128 performances. The production never officially opened.
Tickets will go on sale Jan. 1, 2013. Let My People Come, A Sexual Party Musical Revue tickets begin at $39.99. Phone (866) 811-4111. The Underground is located at 955 West End Ave., at 107th Street and Broadway.
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