MONEY - A MUSICAL COMEDY

Genre: Comedy, Musical
©Francis Russo III
Written by David Axlerod, Tom Whedon & Sam Pottle; Directed by Gerald Moshell

MONEY tells the story of an extremely wealthy young man, Harry Clay, who has never worked a day in his life. He has just met a woman named Cynthia Burgess, whom he instantly wants to marry, though he doesn’t yet know her name. While clearly flattered, she refuses to accept his proposal until he seeks a more meaningful path in life. Harry tries, he really does; he even goes so far as a prolonged attempt to land a job – any job! With Cynthia’s friend Bernie Bartok wary and jealous of Harry’s intrusions, and a fourth character, Mr. Mann, bounding in and out of over 20 different roles -- from waiter to corporation executive, from doctor to beggar, from nudist to grey-haired old lady -- MONEY is a fast-paced and funny commentary on the early 1960s, and the show remains fresh to this day.

Undoubtedly influenced by the off-Broadway shot-in-the-arm that was 1960’s The Fantasticks, MONEY took on the brashness and daring of such other early-1960s titles as Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Beyond the Fringe, and the early James Bond movies -- a decided turn-away from the Rodgers & Hammerstein and “Father Knows Best” models that had characterized the 1950s and the Eisenhower years.

MONEY is surely among the handful of very best American musicals that is almost entirely unknown, not only to the theater-going public but also within the theatrical community itself.  Even after 50 years, and despite its many topical pop-culture and socio-political references (such as Khruschev, the Edsel, and Colliers Magazine, to name only a few), the script remains remarkably fresh and modern-sounding. The score is amazingly inventive in forging a new, breezy sound for the musical theatre. It even includes -- fully within its overall tongue-in-cheek, spoofing manner -- an operetta-like parody, “The Philanthropist’s Progress: A Cautionary Cantata,” a 15-minute-long, through-sung number that takes satiric thrusts at so-called charitable institutions at the same time that it mimes such lofty 1950’s musical models as Candide, with which it obviously shares the main thrust of its story-line, and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.

Indeed, the theme of a young man seeking greater meaning in life informs not just MONEY and Candide, but also Pippin, now playing in town in a spectacular new production. While MONEY may employ less acrobatics than the current Pippin production, it has a much funnier script and snappier ending than either Candide or Pippin, with a wonderful final number that combines elements of pseudo-pomp, vaudeville, and even a cappella stylings.


About the Company: Stranger Productions

 

STRANGER PRODUCTIONSis a production company recently developed by Gerald Moshell out of a repertory theatre group working out of the Cornerstone Playhouse in Wakefield and Warwick, Rhode Island, which had produced in 2007-11 such shows as tick, tick . . .BOOM!, Birds of Paradise, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Nunsense A-Men, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, all directed by Gerald Moshell. MONEY is the third show to be produced by Stranger Productions, following mountings of the musical next to normal (Factory Theatre, Boston) and the play Another Antigone (BAX Theater, Brooklyn).



Cast: Robin Rightmyer
Preview:   05/31/13
Open:   06/01/13
Close:   06/16/13

Schedule:
Tuesdays at 7pm
Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays @ 3pm
Theater:   Theatre Row's Studio Theatre
Address:   410 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Google Maps
Cost:$25, $10 for students and seniors
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Telecharge at 212-239-6200

Robin Rightmyer studied in England at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Having enjoyed being something of a jet-setter with his work, he performed as Laertes (Hamlet) in London for his professional debut and has since worked in several different countries, furthering his cultural and professional life.  He toured as Ferdinand (The Tempest) in Southern France and took up a residency, in London, at Middle Temple Hall, one of Shakespeare's own theatre spaces.  Robin's vocal engagements have sent him throughout Europe (all over the Netherlands in a tour of The Tenors Christmas Concert) and to China, where he performed as a Singer/Entertainer at The Venetian Resort/Hotel/Casino in Macau. Now that he has just recently moved to New York City, he is excited to get his American career underway. He has been involved in several projects since returning stateside, including Savage Rose's Macbeth, Narrows Theater's Noises Off, and several readings and workshops.

Meg Kiley Smith is a California native and graduate of Trinity College (CT) and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She has worked regionally, on tour, and in NYC, and will have just finished several months of performances in the wonderful role of Mama Bear in the National Tour and Off-Broadway production of The Berenstain Bears LIVE! in Family Matters, The Musical! Other favorite musical-theater appearances include Hope (Urinetown); Marta (Company); Rose/Charlotte in a new adaptation of Oliver Twist, a play with original music, at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; and Ensemble in Subway Stories (a puppet musical) at the Duplex in NYC. Meg is the founding Associate Artistic Director of MaineStage Shakespeare Company in Kennebunk, Maine, where her roles have included Rosalind (As You Like It) and Emilia (Othello), and where she will portray Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) later this summer. Favorite roles with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Shakespeare LIVE! touring ensemble include Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth). This fall, Meg is excited to be performing the multi-character track Woman in the world premiere of A Most Dangerous Woman, a piece based on the author George Eliot’s life and works, written by Cathy Tempelsman and directed by Richard Maltby, Jr., at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

David Andrew Laws is a BFA graduate of Carnegie Mellon University who has recently appeared in the short film “The Densely Hollow” and in an episode of the DiscoveryID channel’s “Scorned: Love Kills.” He also recently played various roles in the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey production of Oliver Twist and the leading role of Henry Harper in Brooklyn production of Another Antigone that was directed by Gerald Moshell. David is originally from Kentucky and began his theatrical career at the age of ten as Dill in a production of To Kill a Mockingbird. His theatrical activities continued throughout high school and college and included study abroad at the Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory in Smolyan, Bulgaria, where, while studying Suzuki, Commedia dell’arte, and Beijing Opera, he played Romeo in a Bulgarian-directed production of Romeo and Juliet.

Logan Keeler is a recent graduate of Connecticut College and has just completed his second and final year at the William Esper Studio, a Meisner-based acting studio located here in Manhattan. Recent productions include The Golem: Heart of Light, Mind of Darkness (Inwood Shakespeare Festival) as The Golem, The ThreePenny Opera (The Lost Theatre, London, UK) as Mr. Peachum, and next to normal (The Factory Theatre, Boston) as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine. Other favorite roles include the leading roles of Mike Dillard (Working) and Elwood P. Dowd (Harvey), as well as the ever-enjoyable role of Snoopy in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.