With music by Charles Strouse and Richard Maltby, Jr. Nick & Nora ran only nine performances in 1991 despite it’s starry cast. Last night at Feinstein’s/54 Below a tribute to the short-lived musical, and the radio plays of the 1930’s. W54B Mystery Radio Players gathered to present a broadcast of the latest chapter in Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles series. Inspired by the original 1934 broadcast of Hammett’s The Thin Man, complete with commercial breaks (featuring jingles by musical director James Horan) and sound effects created live, before your eyes — and ears.
In 1991, Arthur Laurents (Gypsy, Do I Hear A Waltz?), Richard Maltby, Jr. (Closer Than Ever), and Charles Strouse (Annie, Rags, Bye, Bye Birdie) brought the extraordinary pair to Broadway. Despite an all-star ensemble, the short-lived musical failed to find an audience and closed after only nine performances. The musical has lived on through a cast recording and twenty-five years of being a Broadway legend.
The original ensemble reunited for two concerts for songs featured on the Original Cast Recording, as well as numbers cut in workshops and previews.
Nick & Nora 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.
On the stage was:
Barry Bostwick (The Robber Bridegroom, Scandal, Spin City)
Marcus Choi (Allegiance, Wicked, Sweet Charity)
Timothy Connell (Nick & Nora)
Joanna Gleason (Into the Woods, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
Cady Huffman (The Producers)
Yvette Lawrence (Falsettos, Beauty and the Beast)
Christine Pedi (Newsical, Spamilton)
Carly Sakolove (Mamma Mia!, Newsical)
Chris Sarandon (Dog Day Afternoon, The Light In The Piazza)
Daniel Walstad (Charlie and Algernon).
Lianne Marie Dobbs (Himself & Nora, White Christmas)
and The W54B Radio singers: Arianna Armon (Buxton Opera House, International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival), Suzanne Dressler (Oh, Brother!, Mademoiselle Colombe), Kimberly Faye Greenberg (One Night With Fanny Brice), Paul Thomas Ryan (Onward Victoria), and Thia Stephan (Charlie and Algernon).
Nick & Nora was narrated by Robert W. Schneider (Behind the Curtain: Broadway’s Living Legends).