Love or hate musicals, this one’s for you

Musical of Musicals

The Actors Theatre of Indiana will kick off the second half of its 2012-2013 season Friday with “Musical of Musicals (The Musical!),” the gut-busting musical parody that has charmed three continents.

The “Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)” is a musical about musicals. In this satire of musical theatre, one story becomes five musicals, each written in the distinctive style of different masters of the form, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim.

“If you love musicals, you’ll love it because you’ll see a lot of things you’ll enjoy that poke gentle fun in a loving way. If you hate musicals, you’ll love it because it makes fun of all the things you hate. It’s enjoyable for two different points of views,” Director Richard J. Roberts said. “It’s five little shows that are each 10 to 15 minutes long. It’s constantly changing so you won’t get bored.”

The Basics

  • What: “Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)”
  • When: Friday through Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
  • Where: The Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts, 4 Center Green, Carmel.
  • Cost: $40 for adults and $36.25 for seniors Friday through Sunday. $35.50 for Thursday shows. A special discount provides student tickets as buy one, get one free. Tickets can be ordered online or by calling 843-3800.
  • Website: www.ActorsTheatreofIndiana.org.

The musical stars four seasoned performers: ATI founders Cynthia Collins, Don Farrell and Judy Fitzgerald, as well as Dave Ruark, who is making his ATI debut. Assisting Roberts with musical direction is Brent Marty.

“We have a terrific batch of people. Everyone in the show knows the musical theatre world, has seen all of the shows,” Roberts said.

Cast 2

“The entire team is an all-star team,” Farrell said of the cast and crew. “When you have all of these people involved it’s immensely funny.”

The basic plot of the show centers around June, an ingénue who can’t pay the rent, and is threatened by her evil landlord. Will the handsome leading man come to the rescue?

The “I can’t pay the rent” plot is seen through the world of five famous musical theater composers: Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondeim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander and Ebb.

“It’s written so well. It captures these writers – the way they wrote words and musicals,” said Roberts. “It’s very funny and it’s highly enjoyable.”

The show opens with “Corn,” the Rodgers & Hammerstein version, set in Kansas in August, complete with a dream ballet. Farrell said it was very reminiscent of “Oklahoma.” From there, it transforms into a Sondheim version, featuring the landlord as a tortured artistic genius who slashes the throats of his tenants in revenge for not appreciating his work a la “Sweeney Todd.”

A stark contrast follows as Herman’s portion is “Mame meets Hello Dolly!” according to Farrell. The second act includes a Kander & Ebb version, set in a speakeasy in Chicago and a rock musical from Webber.

“That one is immensely funny,” Farrell said, also mentioning it was his favorite scene from the show. “You have to see it. I don’t want to give anything away.”

“Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)” will debut at 8 p.m on Friday and run through Feb. 24. For more information or to order tickets, visit www.ActorsTheatreofIndiana.org.

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