Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Peter Filichia Discuses Promenade, featuring Jim.

This next Monday, Jim is going to be participating in the staged reading of an old and very peculiar Off-Broadway musical called Promenade. It's a show he knows well, having seen the original back in the late 60s. I've heard a lot of the music, and it's really, really strange -- and weirdly compelling.

Minor key, nonsense songs that seem to come out of a weird consciousness than any genre or style, though I suppose it's best described as psychedelic English music hall. It has a rock sensibility, but it's not rock. It's... well, it's its own thing.

From Peter Filichia's column.
[Ed Gaynes'] concert version of Promenade plays next Monday night at New World Stages. His director Pamela Hall has assembled quite a cast to do it, too: Loni Ackerman, Jim Brochu, Gene Castle, Brian Childers, Tim Ewing, Victoria Mallory, Andrea McArdle, Dale Radunz, Virginia Seidel, Neva Small, Ron Spivak, and Haviland Stillwell.

The show originally opened on June 4, 1969 to terrific reviews, headed by Clive Barnes’ Times notice: “If you want my advice, go to the box office … as soon as practicable.”

“Then,” says Gaynes, “on our very first Saturday, Madeline Kahn called in that morning and said that she was sick and just couldn’t do either show. Now at that point, we didn’t have any understudies, and because of the great reviews, we were sold out with lines going around the corner. What were we going to do? We had two shows to do, and two more on Sunday.”

He emits a little laugh before he starts the unlikely story. “So our stage manager Larry Whitely took over and assigned Madeline’s songs and dialogue to other people in the cast. It was the equivalent of Oklahoma! with Aunt Eller singing ‘People Will Say We’re in Love’ and Jud singing ‘The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.’

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