Sunday, November 05, 2006

CdA Summer Theatre announces 2007 season

First, a concert version of *Carousel* (March 31, 2007), intended as a fund-raiser.
And then the summer season:
*Thoroughly Modern Millie* (June 9-23)
*The Full Monty* (June 30-July 14)
*Putting It Together* (July 19-29)
*Kiss Me, Kate* (Aug. 5-18)

*Carousel* was Rodgers and Hammerstein's favorite among their musicals. It's based, with major changes, on a 1909 play, *Liliom,* by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar, which was translated into English in 1921 and produced on Broadway in 1932 with Eva La Galliene and in 1940 with Burgess Meredith and Ingrid Bergman.
As refashioned by R&H, carnival barker Billy Bigelow meets Julie Jordan — both are working-class, both lose their jobs, he gets her pregnant. Then he botches a holdup meant to raise money for the baby girl who's on the way. (In Molnar, Billy then commits suicide; in *Carousel,* Billy dies by accident.) Billy goes someplace for 15 or 16 years (in Molnar, purgatory; in R&H, Heaven), where he's granted one day back on Earth to make amends. He attends his daughter's high school graduation and manages to communicate with and inspire her -- at least in the Broadway musical. (In Molnar's original, he fails in the attempt and is sent to Hell.) Famous songs: "If I Loved You"; "June Is Bustin' Out All Over": "Soliloquy"; and "You'll Never Walk Alone"

*Millie* is based on the 1967 movie, directed by George Roy Hill (*Butch Cassidy,*, *The Sting,* *Slap Shot*) and starring Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing. It won an Oscar for Best Score (Elmer Bernstein).
It's 1922, and Millie escapes Kansas for the Big Apple, hoping to become a flapper. She gets mixed up with a bunch of zanies and ends up foiling a Chinese-run white slavery ring.

*The Full Monty* (= going all the way) is based on the 1997 movie in which six unemployed British steelworkers decide to make money by forming a male chorus line -- and parading themselves starkers. Factories in Sheffield have been laying off thousands of workers you see. There's the guy who needs money to keep joint custody of his son; the depressed guy worried that his wife is about to divorce him; the suicidal guy who's stuck living with his mother; and the middle-class type who's been lying to his wife and pretending to go off to work every morning for six months. As they're recruiting a couple of other guys into their fat and untalented dance troupe, they discover how much money Chippendale's-type dancers are making -- as a gag, the women in their lives urge them to take it all off during their one-time-only show ... and pretty soon, they're trapped.

"Putting It Together," a musical revue of Stephen Sondheim songs: Premiered in Oxford, England, in 1992 with Diana Rigg in the cast; American premiere in 1993 in Manhattan with Julie Andrews, Stephen Collins and Christopher Durang in the cast. There was a 1998 L.A. production and 1999-2000 New York production, both with Carol Burnett and Bronson Pinchot in the cast. Songs from *The Frogs*; *Dick Tracy*; *Merrily We Roll Along*; *A Funny Thing ... Forum*; *Company*; *Sunday in the Park With George*; *Assassins*; *Sweeney Todd*; *A Little Night Music*; *Follies*; and more

The idea for *Kiss Me, Kate* originated with a 1935 production of *The Taming of the Shrew* during which the two stars, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, argued nearly as much offstage as their two characters did while on it. A producer brought the idea to Cole Porter, who wrote the music and lyrics for the 1948 musical. (The movie came out in 1953.)
*Kate* takes place from 5 pm-midnight on a single day in a theater in Baltimore during a tryout of a musical version of *Shrew.* Fred Graham and his ex-wife Lili Vanessi fight and make up, just like Petruchio and Katerina. For the "onstage" numbers, Porter used Shakespearean language: "I come to wive it wealthily in Padua"; "Were thine that special face"; "Where is the life that late I led?"; and "I am ashamed that women are so simple." For the "backstage" numbers like "Too Darn Hot" and "Why Can't You Behave?" Porter used contemporary language.


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