KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler are packing up some of George Gershwin's most embraced — and embraceable — songs from their hit Off-Broadway revue, American Rhapsody, and taking them on the road, to the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton, NY, June 27-July 8.
The Gershwin revue that opened Nov. 10, 2000, at New York City's Triad Theatre closes May 27 after 232 performances. The show, with Sullivan singing and Nadler on piano and also singing, won the 2001 MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) Award and was nominated for Best Musical Revue by the New York Drama Desk.
The show was presented by Louise Westergaard, Stephen Downey, Peter Martin and Jay Harris in association with Linda Wassong. A cast album is available.
Sullivan is the lauded cabaret singer who appeared in Broadway's most recent Gentlemen Prefer Blondes revival, and Nadler is the multiple-MAC Award-winning pianist-musical director who appeared in Dame Edna: The Royal Tour. Previews of the new revue began Oct. 25, 2000, offering fans scores of Gershwin tunes. Sullivan and Nadler tested the show (which once had the title Gershwin's American Rhapsody) in London and at England's Chichester Festival in summer 2000. The cast album is based on those earlier performances; the show is slightly modified. Ruth Leon directs, with musical staging by Donald Saddler (On Your Toes, No, No, Nanette, Wonderful Town). The show's songs by late composer Gershwin (who died prematurely in 1938 when he was 37) include "Embraceable You," "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "The Man I Love," "Love Is Here to Stay" and a clutch of lesser-known tunes. Lyrics are by brother Ira Gershwin , who collaborated with George on frothy and frivolous musical comedies in the 1920s and 1930s, creating a lasting songbook that survived beyond most of the perishable libretti.
Among their musicals were Treasure Girl, Lady, Be Good!, Let 'Em Eat Cake, Pardon My English, Girl Crazy, Oh, Kay!, Funny Face, Of Thee I Sing, Strike Up the Band and Porgy and Bess (with DuBose Heyward). Gershwin also wrote instrumental pieces such as "An American in Paris" and "Rhapsody in Blue."
American Rhapsody designers are William Barclay (set) and Phil Monat and John Tees III (lighting).
Tickets are $55. Triad Theatre is at 158 West 72nd Street at Broadway. For Manhattan ticket information call (212) 239 6200. For East Hampton reservations, call (631) 324 4050.
— By Kenneth Jones