The Big Voice Celebrates Ethel Merman Jan. 16

News   The Big Voice Celebrates Ethel Merman Jan. 16
The new Off-Broadway musical The Big Voice: God or Merman will celebrate Ethel Merman on Jan. 16, the day that would have marked the late Broadway's star's 99th birthday.

Audience members who dress as The Merm will be entitled to free admission to the 8 PM performance on Jan. 16. Those who bring a "Merm-mento" — a picture, a CD or anything related to the Broadway star — will only be charged $19.08 admission (Merman was born in 1908).

Following the performance Marge Champion and Donald Saddler will judge a Merman costume parade. (Those interested in dressing up/impersonating Merman at the Jan. 16 performance can register to do so by e-mailing or by simply showing up in costume.)

In The Big Voice: God or Merman, which officially opened Nov. 30 at the new Off-Broadway space The Actors Temple Theatre, co-stars and co-creators Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin find salvation in musical theatre.

Brochu and Schalchlin, according to press notes, "musicalize their relationship and hilariously prove that showbiz is as much a calling as the priesthood. This high energy, razzle-dazzle show chronicles the lives of a Baptist from Arkansas and a Catholic from Brooklyn who find eternal salvation in the temple of musical theatre." The biographical musical "traces the couple's meeting aboard a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, Steve's struggle with AIDS, the production of their hit Off-Broadway musical The Last Session, their separation and their reconciliation. It's a comedy about a 'gay marriage' between two men created by the couple themselves."

The Big Voice plays Tuesday-Thursday evenings at 8 PM, Wednesdays at 3 PM, Saturdays at 3 and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 and 7 PM. Tickets may be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting The Actors Temple Theatre is located in Manhattan at 339 West 47th Street.

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