Monday night at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below, a concert version of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s 70, Girls, 70 was given a chance to be heard again. The musical opened on Broadway on April 15, 1971 at the Broadhurst Theatre, where it ran for 35 performances and nine previews.
Some “old folks sit around by the television set with a comforter petulant as they can get…” But some live a life of adventure! Knowing that all too well, beloved songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, The Visit) joined forces once again with Joe Masterhoff (Cabaret) and new comer Norman L. Martin to create a musical about those adventurous “old folk.” Based on Peter Coke’s play Breath of Spring, 70, Girls, 70 shuffled its way onto Broadway in 1971. The tuner concerns the residents of The New Sussex Arms. When these adventurous old folks discover their Upper West Side retirement home is being sold, they vow to do whatever it takes to stop the sale. Even if that means they have to steal!
The original 1971 cast featured a talented ensemble of septuagenarians, from Tony Award-winners to silent movie stars, all of whom had spent their life in the theatre. Now, a slew of Broadway Babies will return to the New York stage for a one-night-only concert celebrating old folks, musical theatre and 70, Girls, 70.
70, Girls, 70 is presented as part of the Second Act Series, produced by Steven Carl McCasland and James Horan. Each evening revisits a short-lived musical, highlighting its neglected score and inviting audiences to rediscover a forgotten gem. Previous evenings include: Onward Victoria, Charlie and Algernon and Eating Raoul.
Loni Ackerman (George M!, Starting Here Starting Now, Dames at Sea)
Karin Baker (George M!, Coco)
Jim Brochu (Zero Hour, The Last Session)
Britt Cryer (Shelter, The Desert Song)
David Cryer (1776, Chess, Phantom of the Opera)
Allison Brewster Franzetti (multiple Grammy® -nominated pianist)
Ernestine Jackson (Raisin, Guys and Dolls)
Don Johanson (Jelly’s Last Jam, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Cats)
JoAnn Mariano (The Patty Duke Show)
Patti Mariano (Original Broadway Cast of The Music Man, George M!, Rags, The Full Monty)
Joyce Nolen (Smile, Stop The World I Want To Get Off)
Frank Root (42nd Street, Mack & Mabel)
Penny Worth (Irene, Annie, Grand Hotel)