Musicals Tonight! Season Includes Apple Tree, Chocolate Soldier, Jubilee, Meet Me in St. Louis and Obscure Kern

News   Musicals Tonight! Season Includes Apple Tree, Chocolate Soldier, Jubilee, Meet Me in St. Louis and Obscure Kern
Musicals Tonight!, the Obie Award-winning troupe that stages concerts of forgotten or seldom-revived musicals, announced a 2004-05 season of works by Cole Porter, Oscar Straus, Jerome Kern, Martin and Blane and Bock and Harnick.

The five revivals of the downtown-born company's first season in the midtown Manhattan theatre district (at Off Broadway's 45th Street Theatre) are Jubilee, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Chocolate Soldier, The Beauty Prize and The Apple Tree.

Perhaps the least-known of the lot is Jerome Kern and P.G. Wodehouse's London musical, The Beauty Prize from 1922.

Musicals tonight announced that the piano-and-voice concert of The Beauty Prize (April 26-May 8, 2005) represents the American premiere. The writing team of Kern and Wodehouse had already collaborated successfully on the musicals Oh, Boy!; Leave It To Jane; Oh, Lady, Lady; and The Cabaret Girl. According to Musicals Tonight!, "The 'prize,' Odo Philpott, a self-important nerd, is accidentally won by an heiress on her wedding day (to another).  Dissuading Odo and re interesting  her original intended occupy much of the action in this musical farce."

Songs form the score include "You Can't Make Love By Wireless," "Playing Mah-Jong" and "Non-Stop Dancing."

The 2004-05 season for Musicals Tonight! also includes:

  • Jubilee (Oct. 5-17) by Moss Hart and Cole Porter (1939).  "In this, Moss Hart's centenary year, Musicals Tonight! is proud to revive his only collaboration with Cole Porter.  Legend has it that Hart, Porter and director Monty Wooley took a round-the-world-cruise to think up ideas for this show.  The show's characters were thinly veiled caricatures of celebrities of the day such as Johnny Weissmuller, Noel Coward, Elsa Maxwell and the King and Queen of England." Songs include "Begin the Beguine," "Just One of Those Things" and "Why Shouldn't I?"
  • Meet Me In St. Louis (Oct. 19-31). "2004 also marks the 100th Anniversary of the Louisiana Exposition of 1904 - the setting for Hugh Martin's Meet Me in St. Louis.  Originally an award-winning movie starring Judy Garland, the musical was theatricalized, first by the writer of the original novel (in 1960) and then by Hugh Wheeler for Broadway (in 1989)." The score includes "The Boy Next Door," "Have Yourself Merry Little Christmas," "The Trolley Song" and "Meet Me In St. Louis."
  • The Chocolate Soldier (March 29-April 10, 2005) "is the famous operetta by Oscar Straus from 1909 which was based on George Bernard Shaw's play, Arms and the Man.  The New York run of 296 performances was exceeded by the 1910 London production which lasted for 500 performances.  The story depicts the folly of war." Songs include "Falling in Love," "The Letter Song," "Thank the Lord the War is Over" and "Bulgarians."
  • The Apple Tree (May 10-22, 2005)  by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) "opened on Oct. 18, 1966 and was based on stories by Mark Twain, Frank Stockton and Jules Feiffer.  It ran for 463 performances and starred Barbara Harris (Tony award winner), Alan Alda and Larry Blyden.  Mike Nichols made his Broadway musical directing debut."  Songs include "Oh, To Be a Movie Star," "Gorgeous," "Beautiful, Beautiful World," "Feelings," "You Are Not Real," "Who Is She?," "Tiger, Tiger," "Friends," "Wealth," "Lullaby (Go to Sleep Whatever You Are)," "Eve" and more. The 45th Street Theatre is at 354 West 45th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. For more information, contact Musicals Tonight! at (212) 362-5620 or visit Mel Miller is the company's founder and artistic director.

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