Thursday, December 4, 2008

The new king of burlesque

I'm so thrilled for the very talented Christopher Fitzgerald. His portrayal of Igor in Young Frankenstein was one of my favorite parts of the musical. (I wish I could have seen him as the original Boq in Wicked.)

And now, Fitzgerald officially has the title role in the new musical Minsky's. Produced by the Center Theatre Group, it runs from Jan. 21 to March 1 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

The show, written by Bob Martin, (The Drowsy Chaperone) with music and lyrics by Charles Strouse (Annie) and Susan Birkenhead, (Jelly's Last Jam) is billed as "a big, racy, romantic musical comedy set in Depression Era New York City." Fitzgerald plays Billy Minsky, the king of burlesque, "who reigns over the rollicking backstage world of Minsky's, where profit margins are as skimpy as the costumes."

The cast also includes Kevin Cahoon from The Wedding Singer, George Wendt from Cheers and Hairspray, Tony winner Beth Leavel from The Drowsy Chaperone and Rachel Dratch from Saturday Night Live. I didn't see The Wedding Singer on Broadway, but Cahoon is hilarious on the cast recording. And who doesn't love Norm from Cheers?

The Center Theatre Group also served as the producer and pre-Broadway tryout location for Curtains, so I'm hoping that Minsky's will make it to New York if everything goes well on the West Coast. I'm looking forward to seeing Fitzgerald in a starring role on Broadway.


Linz McC said...

I also thought Christopher Fitzgerald was great in Young Frankenstein. I was glad to see he got the Tony nom for it. He was a hoot. I hadn't heard the casting news for Minsky's, although I had seen it on the CTG schedule for the fall. I would definitely see it now, but it falls perfectly into my "out of the country" time period!! :(

Vance said...

Ooh, now I'm REALLY interested in seeing this. Argh. I was hoping to see it with Linz!

And apparently Michael Arden is doing the Pippin next door too!

Esther said...

Oh no, Linz and Vance! I was hoping to get another great report from both of you like you did for "9 to 5." Maybe it'll extend. I'll keep my fingers crossed. And I'm really happy about Christopher Fitzgerald getting his chance at a leading role. What a wonderful opportunity for him.