Broadhurst Theatre, (12/04/2003 - 2/15/2004)

First Preview: Oct 27, 2003
Opening Date: Dec 04, 2003
Closing Date: Feb 15, 2004
Total Previews: 44
Total Performances: 84

Category: Musical, Comedy, Original, Broadway
Setting: First, Punxsutawney, PA. Then, New York City. 1936.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President)

Produced by Weissberger Theater Group (Jay Harris, Producer), Edgar Bronfman, Jr., James Walsh, Ted Hartley, RKO and Harvey Weinstein

Music by Jerome Kern; Book by Jeffrey Hatcher; Featuring songs with lyrics by Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach, Ira Gershwin, Bernard Dougall, P. G. Wodehouse, Jimmy McHugh and Edward Laska; Musical Director: Robert Billig; Vocal arrangements by Robert Billig; Music orchestrated by Harold Wheeler; Dance arrangements by Zane Mark; Based on the original film "Swing Time" produced by RKO; Based on the original film "Swing Time" distributed by Turner Entertainment Co.; Based on a story by Erwin Gelsey; Based on the movie directed by George Stevens; Incidental and song arrangements by James Sampliner

Directed by Michael Greif; Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell; Associate Choreographer: Jodi Moccia; Associate Director: Leigh Silverman

Scenic Design by Robin Wagner; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Paul Gallo; Sound Design by Acme Sound Partners and Nevin Steinberg; Hair Design by Paul Huntley; Associate Scenic Design: David Peterson; Associate Costume Design: Scott Traugott; Make-Up Design by Melissa Silver; Associate Lighting Design: Philip Rosenberg

General Manager: Nina Lannan & Associates and Devin Keudell; Company Manager: Leslie A. Glassburn; Associate Co. Mgr: Janice Jacobson

Production Stage Manager: Kristen Harris; Technical Supervisor: Theatresmith Inc.; Stage Manager: Michael John Egan

Conducted by Robert Billig; Associate Conductor: James Sampliner; Music Copying: Emily Grishman Music Preparation and Katharine Edmonds; Musical Coordinator: John Miller

Casting: Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc.; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing: TMG - The Marketing Group; Dance Captain: Denis Jones; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Nancy LemenagerPenny Carroll
Noah RaceyLucky Garnett
Peter BartlettMr. Pangborn
Eugene FlemingSpud
Peter GeretyAlfred J. Morgenthal
Deidre GoodwinVelma
Philip LeStrangeMr. Chalfont
Deborah LeamyMargaret Chalfont
Ron OrbachMajor Bowes
David PittuRicardo Romero
Karen ZiembaMabel Pritt
Julio AgustinOne of the Rome-Tones
Ensemble
Timothy J. AlexA Stage Manager
Dice Raymond
Ensemble
Roxane BarlowOne of The Charms
Ensemble
Julie ConnorsMiss Tattersall
Ensemble
Sally Mae DunnOne of The Charms
Ensemble
Jennifer FrankelOne of The Charms
A Waitress
Ensemble
Jason GillmanOne of the Rome-Tones
Ensemble
Greg GrahamEnsemble
Kenya Unique MasseyEnsemble
Ipsita PaulEnsemble
T. Oliver ReidOne of the Rome-Tones
Ensemble
Kirby WardA Minister
A Construction Worker
Ensemble
Tommar WilsonEnsemble

Swings: Nili Bassman, Ashley Hull, Denis Jones and Tony Yazbeck

Understudies: Julio Agustin (Mr. Pangborn, Ricardo Romero), Timothy J. Alex (Major Bowes, Mr. Chalfont, Ricardo Romero), Nili Bassman (Penny Carroll), Julie Connors (Margaret Chalfont), Sally Mae Dunn (Mabel Pritt), Jennifer Frankel (Mabel Pritt), Jason Gillman (Lucky Garnett), Greg Graham (Lucky Garnett), Philip LeStrange (Mr. Pangborn), Deborah Leamy (Penny Carroll), Kenya Unique Massey (Velma), Ron Orbach (Alfred J. Morgenthal), Ipsita Paul (Velma), T. Oliver Reid (Spud), Kirby Ward (Alfred J. Morgenthal, Major Bowes, Mr. Chalfont) and Tommar Wilson (Spud)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2004 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Karen Ziemba

 2004 Best Choreography [nominee] 

Jerry Mitchell

Drama Desk Award

 2004 Outstanding Choreography [nominee] 

Jerry Mitchell

 2004 Outstanding Orchestrations [nominee] 

Harold Wheeler

Songs

music by Jerome Kern; lyrics by Dorothy Fields
(Unless otherwise noted)


ACT 1 Sung By
Dearly Beloved
(lyrics by Johnny Mercer)
Lucky Garnett and His Charms
Put Me to the Test
(lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
Lucky Garnett
I Won't Dance
(lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh and Otto Harbach)
Lucky Garnett and The Company
Pick Yourself UpPenny Carroll and Lucky Garnett
Pick Yourself Up (Reprise) Mabel Pritt and Alfred J. Morgenthal
Who?
(lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach)
Ricardo Romero and the Rome-Tones
I'm Old Fashioned
(lyrics by Johnny Mercer)
Penny Carroll
She Didn't Say Yes, She Didn't Say No
(lyrics by Otto Harbach)
Spud and Velma
The Song Is You
(lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II)
Mabel Pritt, Alfred J. Morgenthal and Waitresses
The Way You Look TonightLucky Garnett and Penny Carroll
ACT 2 Sung By
Waltz in Swing TimeThe Company
Shimmy With Me
(lyrics by P. G. Wodehouse)
Mabel Pritt and The Company
A Fine RomancePenny Carroll, Lucky Garnett, Mabel Pritt and Alfred J. Morgenthal
I'll Be Hard to Handle
(lyrics by Bernard Dougall)
Spud and Velma
I Got LoveMabel Pritt
The Most Exciting Night
(lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Otto Harbach)
Ricardo Romero and the Rome-Tones
Remind MePenny Carroll and Lucky Garnett
Never Gonna DanceLucky Garnett and Penny Carroll
Dearly Beloved / I Won't Dance (Reprise) The Company

Reviews


AP: "Never Gonna Dance Pays Homage"

"Never Gonna Dance" is Fred and Ginger once removed, an affectionate if middlin' homage to Astaire and Rogers, the greatest dance team movie musicals ever produced.

The show, which opened Thursday at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre, is loosely based on "Swing Time," one of the duo's most entrancing films. It's a tough act to follow.

If this bland stage version never transports you to musical-comedy heaven, it is a pleasant enough diversion, particularly when a hardworking cast is hoofing its way through Jerry Mitchell's spirited choreography.

And the leads, Noah Racey and Nancy Lemenager, while no Astaire and Rogers, remind you what a tonic fine dancing can be. Racey, who looks like J.C. Leyendecker's famous advertising illustration of the Arrow Collar man, is smoothly debonair. He's not much of a singer, but he makes a forceful partner. Lemenager, wide-eyed and with a shy smile, follows Racey's lead with ease.

Broadway has been pretty barren of good dance this season, so Mitchell's numbers come as a relief for those of us who think musical-theater choreography is becoming a lost art.

What's odd about "Never Gonna Dance" is that Mitchell's best work comes right at the top of the show. Nothing else tops the musical's first big production number and the evening gets bogged down in plot. In it, our hero, a vaudeville hoofer named Lucky Garnett, vows he won't dance until he earns $25,000 at some boring job and then can go back to Punxsutawney, Pa., to marry his wealthy fiancee.

The number, "I Won't Dance," is a rhythmic celebration to all the goings-on in Grand Central Terminal: from the brush of a shoe shine, to the slap of a newspaper bundle on a newsstand counter to the cries of a hot-dog vendor.

The lushly romantic numbers get imaginative staging. One is performed on a series of girders high and the other in front of mirrors that multiply the two dancers while giving us a glimpse of the audience.

"Never Gonna Dance" is overstuffed with songs, all with music by the great Jerome Kern, yet performed in disappointing Las Vegas-style orchestrations by Harold Wheeler. Some of the tunes are from "Swing Time," which featured the graceful, witty lyrics of Dorothy Fields. But other lyricists are represented here, too, including Oscar Hammerstein II, Ira Gershwin and Johnny Mercer.

As a result, Jeffrey Hatcher's slow-moving book gets a bit choppy. Director Michael Greif doesn't do much to alleviate this stop-and-go quality as he shoehorns song after song into the fragile plot. The story, such as it is, follows Lucky's budding romance with Penny, a dance-studio instructor, and their entry into a radio dance contest sponsored by that king of the airwaves, Major Bowes.

The supporting cast could not be stronger. Karen Ziemba, as the heroine's wisecracking best friend, is too good for the meager amount of material she's given here. Eugene Fleming and Deidre Goodwin deliver plenty of sass as two serious dance-contest competitors.

And Peter Bartlett, in what can only be described as the Eric Blore role, is blissfully funny as the ever-so gay dance-studio owner.

Set designer Robin Wagner's New York skyline looks surprisingly anemic although William Ivey Long's colorful costumes are properly sumptuous.

"Never Gonna Dance" never develops the consistent drive that  propelled "Crazy For You" into a long run more than a decade ago.

"Crazy For You," a similar show in that it was a new musical using  classic old songs, barreled along at a rapid pace.

"Dance" dawdles too much of the time.


AP
12/04/2003

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