[As usual notes to myself to
remember shows I've seen but maybe of interest you]
The show was the musical comedy "The New Yorkers" by Cole Porter from
1930, put on by the off off Broadway "Musicals Tonight" series. [put
The show was the musical comedy "The New Yorkers" by Cole Porter from 1930, put on by the off off Broadway "Musicals Tonight" series. [put in link]In the opening remarks on the show it was noted that the year the show opened James earl Jones and Robert Morse had been born. Although I could believe it of Jones it was a surprise to hear that Morse is so old. Although the show was called a musical comedy it was really a review with a very thin plot line: a loose society woman gets infatuated with a gangster bootlegger who owns the El Toro night club and she has to break him out of Sing Sing with an airplane. Presuming that what was presented was close to what was done in 1930, the play was more than risqué and the society it describes, amoral socialites and immoral gangsters, could be on HBO today, 70 years later.
The show's never been performed professionally since 1930 [that's the kind of musical that this theater specializes in] and was partly a reconstruction. Some of the songs that became standards are Love For Sale, I Happen to Like New York, Heaven Hop, I'm A Gigolo, Take Me Back to Manhattan and Just One of Those Things.
The cast, about 14 in number and 2/3rds equity, was mostly good to very good; I especially liked the head gangster staying in dialect, or at least dialect intonation, throughout [except when he sang]. The music was one piano which sounded like an orchestra. Live voices with no miking. There is very little dancing in these productions and the actors often, but not always, hold their scripts; they're in costume and use props but there's almost no scenery. It was a sold out audience.
Although Porter wrote the music and the lyrics, Herbert Fields wrote the book "adapted by Mel Miller" who is the producer [and the director and the man I talk to when I buy my tickets over the phone and with whom I had a conversation during the intermission. He was commenting that the shows his group presents are not perfect and couldn't be sustained in full Broadway productions with $100 top tickets; in this setting the shows work and people don't feel they're out a lot of money if the show isn't outstanding.]. So I'm not too sure on how original all the lines were, like: [concerning the night club's floozy singer] "she had been a teacher, but she lost her class"; "she had a wonderful husband but unfortunately he wasn't hers"; another woman is complimented with "You look like a million dollars" and she responds: "and I'm just as hard to make"; and I always thought the "are you happy to see me or is that a gun in your pocket" line was from Mae West but it appeared here in Sing Sing as "are you happy to see me or is that a night stick in your pants". There are some reviews of the show here and also here
I had wanted to buy a CD of one of the earlier productions I had seen at the theater but it wasn't among the ones they were selling.
Theater Reviews Home