Directed by Thomas Sabella-Mills with musical direction by James Stenborg, the cast features Heath Calvert, James Donegan, Jenny Neale, Diane J. Findlay, Marni Raab, Patti Perkins, Jaclyn Huberman, William McCauley and James Zannelli. The ensemble comprises Dawn Cantwell, Aaron Galligan-Stierle, Emma Lorraine Giffen, Aaron Lenhart, Elena Mindlina, Chris Pinnella, Robert Teasdale and Erika Zabelle. Performances play to March 16.
Roberta, according to press notes, is described as such: "John Kent (Heath Calvert), an ex-All-American full-back, comes to Paris with his best friend, (James Donegan) to get over being jilted by his girlfriend, Sophie Teale (Jenny Neale). He visits his Aunt Minnie (Diane J. Findlay) who operates a modiste shop, named 'Roberta,' and is asked to take over its management. He does so with the assistance of the shop's chief designer, Stephanie (Marni Raab), a Russian ex-patriate. Of course John and Stephanie fall in love. Of course Sophie turns up in Paris with her imperious mother (Patti Perkins) and attempts to reconcile with John. Of course the shop becomes a huge success. Oh, and in the end we find out that Stephanie is a Russian Princess. Clementina Scharwenka (Jaclyn Huberman) is the shop's star customer. Lord Henry Delves (William McCauley) is a gentleman friend of Aunt Minnie's. Ladislow (James Zannelli) is the store doorman and a former Russian noble."
The Broadway production of Roberta featured Bob Hope and George Murphy, while the Hollywood remake starred Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Irene Dunne. The Musicals Tonight! presentation features songs from both the 1933 Broadway run and the 1935 RKO film: "You're Devastating," "Yesterdays," "I'll Be Hard To Handle," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Lovely to Look At" and "I Won't Dance."
Show times are Tuesday-Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM with matinees Wednesday and Friday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.
The McGinn/Cazale Theatre is located in Manhattan at 2162 Broadway, between 76th and 77th Streets, on the 3rd floor. Tickets, priced $20, are available by calling (212) 868-4444 or by visiting www.smarttix.com. *
Mel Miller is the producer of the Musicals Tonight! series. Upcoming musicals include Half a Sixpence (April 1-13) and Cole Porter's Paris (April 15-27).