Musicals That Never Made It to Broadway: A New 54 Below Series
With all the musicals that come aboard and make it to Broadway, it’s remarkable how many were “Broadway Bound” but never got there! Well, Rob Schneider and Jennifer Ashley Tepper are in the throes of producing a new series beginning March 21 at 54 Below entitled Broadway Bound: The Musicals That Never Came to Broadway that will address the whys! And they have a most exciting cast of merrymakers who know all about Broadway,including Lesli Margherita, Jill Paice, Cady Huffman, Ryan Vona, Loni Ackerman, Bryan Fenkart, Patti Murin and more!
Here’s what Rob and Jen had to say from Behind the Curtain at 54 Below:
TP: Why do you believe this series will be an audience pleaser?
“On my podcast, Behind The Curtain: Broadway’s Living Legends, I have been so surprised that the shows my guests spoke of most fondly were the ones that never made it to Broadway, that New York audiences never got to see their best work. I thought it was about time we corrected that. Plus, the backstage stories on all of these shows are so fabulous!”
“There are so many worthwhile musicals that have closed on the road to Broadway, and I’m thrilled to be celebrating them with this team, in such a fun concert! We have fascinating facts about theatre history, original cast members, and songs that are gems you’ve never heard before. I’m particularly excited to feature How Do You Do I Love You with original cast member Loni Ackerman- it has a bouncy and delightful score by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire, and was a 1967 musical about computer dating!”
TP: Which are the musicals that will be included?
Our 7pm show will highlight: How Do You Do I Love You, All About Us, Nerds, Prettybelle, Mata Hari, Softly, Rebecca, Harold & Maude, Babe, Arthur: The Musical, and The Rhythm Club.
Our 9:30pm show will highlight: Captain America, Pleasures and Palaces, The Baker’s Wife, The Rhythm Club, How Do You Do I Love You, All About Us, Nerds, Prettybelle, Mata Hari, Softly, and Rebecca.
SD: Are the performers the same that were slated for the musicals you’ll be presenting?
We are very fortunate that many of the original cast members will be joining us to recreate their original performances for the New York audiences who did not get to see them. These include such folks as Jill Paice (Rebecca), Cady Huffman (Over and Over), Loni Ackerman (How Do You Do, I Love You), and Bryan Fenkart and Patti Murin (Nerds).
TP: I’m sure the readers also want to know more about each of you!
Jennifer Ashley Tepper is the Director of Programming at 54 Below, and the author of The Untold Stories of Broadway book series. As the leader of 54 Below’s creative programming team, Tepper is responsible for programming every show at the Broadway supper club and concert venue. She has curated and overseen the production of over 500 shows, ranging from musicals in concert, to original solo acts, to theatrical reunions, to songwriter celebrations, and beyond. 54 Below has become notable for being the only venue of its kind: presenting over a dozen shows every week, specializing in Broadway acts, and welcoming both traditional cabaret and innovative new work. Tepper’s leadership has been instrumental in making the locale “Broadway’s Living Room”, where on any given night one can find Broadway’s biggest stars and emerging talents side by side, creating and sharing new work in an intimate theatrical environment.
Robert W Schneider is an original programming producer at Feinstein’s/54 Below and is the co-host and executive producer of the podcast Behind the Curtain Broadway’s Living Legends, which was created to preserve the wisdom, memories, and anecdotes of Broadway’s greatest stars from yesteryear. As a director, he has directed the regional premieres of Memphis (StageSceneLA Award for Best Musical & Best Director), Rock of Ages, and Harper Regan. He lectures on musical theatre history at Penn State University, New York Film Academy, and Yale University. At Feinstein’s/54 Below he produced I Do! I Do: In Concert, 54 Celebrates The Colonial Theater, 54 Sings: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, 54 Celebrates The Neil Simon Theater, Broadway Goes to the Movies, Rebecca Spigelman: 16 Going On 70, 54 Sings The Movies of Christopher Guest, Love, I Hear! and Don Scardino: Nothing to Hide.
TP: Is this a one night happening?
This is only happening on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 at 7 & 9:30pm at Feinstein’s/54 Below.
TP: Any additional evenings like this in the pipeline?
ROB: It is my hope that this will be one in a series of concerts celebrating these works. Eventually, I’d love if we could actually produce concert versions of the entire scores of the shows being represented so audiences can be exposed to the breadth of brilliance that went into these works that never got their due in NYC
I am hoping that we will have a November 2017 concert called Broadway Bound 2: Miss Hannigan’s Revenge!