Flasback to the Starry Opening Night of Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Nine Years Ago Today!

News   Flasback to the Starry Opening Night of Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Nine Years Ago Today!
Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me opened on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on August 17, 2006. Here's a look back at the opening, plus some photo surprises.

The comedy with music starred "SCTV" and "Saturday Night Live" veteran Short, and was conceived by Tony Award winner Short (Little Me) and Hairspray's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

The production featured music by Shaiman (who was 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 included such tunes as "Stepbrother de Jesus," "12 Step Pappy" and "Sniff, Sniff."

Alan Zweibel joined the creative team, providing "additional material." Joining Short onstage were Brooks Ashmanskas (Little Me), Mary Birdsong ("Reno 911"), Capathia Jenkins (Caroline, or Change) and Nicole Parker ("Mad TV"). They played numerous different roles alongside Short "guiding the audience through an improbable musical version of his life story," according to press materials.

One much talked-about section of the evening had Short adopt one of his best-known characters, clueless and corpulent celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick. Glick drafts a famous guest out of the audience and then grills them with needling questions. Victims have included David Schwimmer, Dennis Miller, Michael Riedel, Gene Simmons, Bob Costas, Chris Noth, Nathan Lane, Cynthia Nixon, Harvey Fierstein, Susan Lucci, Goldie Hawn and Kevin Nealon. On some evenings, the interviewee is an average theatregoer.

The structural nature of the long-gestating show was 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 Ellen DeGeneres, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Jodie Foster and Renee Zellweger were conjured nightly along side Short's unforgettable characters Jiminy Glick, Ed Grimley and Irving Cohen."

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