The show bowing at Theatre West has book by Lloyd J. Schwartz and Hope Juber, music and lyrics by Hope Juber and Laurence Juber. Schwartz directs. It's based on the 1969-74 TV series that was created by Sherwood Schwartz — Hope and Lloyd's dad.
Lloyd Schwartz told Playbill.com June 6 that the tone of the musical is slightly naughty, like the recent PG-13 movie versions of the brand. For example, parents Mike and Carol are so crowded by their noisy brood that their attempts at sex are constantly thwarted.
Here's the story: "Through a misunderstanding, the Brady kids overhear a loud argument between their usually perfectly-in-love parents. The kids think their parents might be heading for a divorce and dig in to raise money to obtain marriage counseling for their woe-stricken parents. Greg operates a car service; Marcia dates for money; Peter and Jan put on magic shows; and Bobby and Cindy look for money in couches. Did you ever imagine what the Bradys might look like in a holding cell at the local police station? Somehow even Alice gets in some legal trouble for fraud."
Schwartz explained that the kids' money-raising efforts are illustrated with different musical comedy styles that reference existing shows, from Oliver! to Annie to Grease to Sweet Charity.
"It's kind of the Bradys' view of musicals," Schwartz said, adding that the Bradys are such a recognizable brand that he thinks the 90-minute show would be perfect for a national tour or a New York sitdown. (Schwartz and company have also developed Gilligan's Island the Musical, a licensable show seen around the country.) A Very Brady Musical is a real family affair. The show's director and co-writer, Lloyd Schwartz, is Sherwood's son and business partner; Hope Juber is Sherwood's daughter, married to co-writer Laurence Juber (a one-time guitarist for Paul McCartney in Wings); Lloyd's wife, Barbara Mallory, plays Carol and is also associate producing the show.
The cast also includes John Cygan as Mike; Erin Holt as Marcia; Justin Meloni as Peter; Elliot Kevin Schwartz as Greg; Laura Marion as Jan; Adam Conger as Bobby; Kelly Stables as Cindy; Kathy Garrick as Alice plus Matthew Hoffman, Selah Victor, Roger Cruz and Mary Garripoli.
A Very Brady Musical is produced by David P. Johnson, Matthew Hoffman and Bonnie Kalisher, and presented by Theatre West in association with Redwood Productions. Theatre West executive director is John Gallogly.
"Since the five-year run of the landmark original series, 'The Brady Bunch' has blossomed into a variety series, a cartoon series, three movies of the week, a dramatic series, a three-camera comedy show, a reality series, and two feature films," according to production notes. "It has enjoyed a run on every television network and numerous cable stations and has been seen in some form in the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and '00s and still runs in syndication."
The Paramount sitcom focused on what today would be called a "blended" family: A widower (played by Robert Reed) with three sons marries a widow (played by Florence Henderson) with three daughters — and hijinx ensue." The CBS sitcom ran 1969-74, and blossomed in syndicated reruns. "A Very Brady Christmas" was one of the spin-off shows, a TV movie about the family reuniting.
The musical's creative team includes choreographer Paul Denniston, designers Richard DeSiato, Daniel Keough and Joseph M. Altadonna and production stage manager Dale A. Cooke.
The plot is grown-up, "so leave the young kids at home," and witness "a great evening of reliving some special Brady moments that you secretly wished had happened."
Sherwood Schwartz, who also created the TV classic "Gilligan's Island," created the original "Brady Bunch" series. He is executive producing A Very Brady Musical.
Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, in Los Angeles.
For more information call (323) 851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org or www.averybradymusical.com.
Another Paramount sitcom from the '70s is a stage musical this year: Happy Days — The Musical is now playing Goodspeed Opera House following earlier developmental productions. A separate national tour of it will criss-cross the country in 2008-09.