A spokesperson for Reprise! confirmed to Playbill.com that the new season will kick off with On Your Toes, playing Aug. 14-26. Featuring music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, the 1936 musical concerns former dancer Junior Dolan, who persuades a Russian dance company to perform "Slaughter on 10th Avenue." The classic score includes such tunes as "There’s a Small Hotel" and "Glad to Be Unhappy." The most recent Broadway production (1983) starred Natalia Makarova, Christine Andreas, George de la Peña, George S. Irving, Dina Merrill and Lara Teeter.
The classic baseball musical Damn Yankees will follow, playing Nov. 6-18, where audiences will enjoy such tunes as "Heart," "Whatever Lola Wants" and "A Little Brains, A Little Talent." The original Broadway production of Damn Yankees opened at the 46th Street Theatre May 5, 1955, playing 1,019 performances before closing at the Adelphi Theatre, where it later transferred, on Oct. 12, 1957. Directed by George Abbott with musical numbers staged by Bob Fosse, the original cast included Gwen Verdon, Stephen Douglass and Ray Walston. The most recent Broadway revival, which opened in March 1994 at the Marquis Theatre, co-starred Bebe Neuwirth, Victor Garber and Jarrod Emick.
Li'l Abner, the musical that was inspired by the characters in Al Capp's comic strip, will play Feb. 4-17, 2008. David Lee will direct. Winner of two Tony Awards, Li'l Abner was first directed and choreographed by Michael Kidd. It opened Nov. 15, 1956, at Broadway's St. James Theatre and played for 693 performances. The original Broadway company included Edith Adams as Daisy Mae, Stubby Kaye as Marryin' Sam and Peter Palmer in the title role. It has never been revived on Broadway.
The Reprise! season will conclude with John Kander and Fred Ebb's Flora, the Red Menace, which will run May 6-18. The musical, which featured a book and direction by George Abbott, ran only 87 performances on Broadway in 1965 but helped launch the career of Liza Minnelli, who won a Tony Award for her performance.
The UCLA Freud Playhouse is located in Macgowan Hall. Tickets for Reprise! productions are available by calling (310) 825-2101. For more information visit www.reprise.org. *
Reprise! is currently presenting Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George — co-starring Manoel Felciano and Kelli O'Hara — through Feb. 11. The current season will conclude with No Strings, May 8-20.