Tuesday, April 03, 2007

That's Andy-Tainment?

That's Andy-Tainment?

Tip of the hat to Boston-area (as near as I can figure) theatre director/musician/blogger Corey Jackson at the Bullroar Report for his insider perspective on what sounds like a very promising reading for a new musical called That's Andy.

The musical is about a young child who dreams of someday portraying Annie -- only catch is that the young child is a boy. Sounds like quite the original premise.

The invitation-only March 26 reading featured the likes of Tony winners Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot) and Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), as well as Burke Moses (The Fantastiks); Jackson indicated he was "in" the staged reading.

Describing the show as "Music Man meets Urinetown," Jackson is downright exuberant: "The crowd went crazy and wild and I think this show is on it’s way to something big. You heard it here first. Or maybe you heard it on Playbill or Broadwayworld first, but you heard it here second if not first. So there....This is a gold mine."

Well, Corey, although stories on That's Andy were included in those various places, they escaped me. So in my book, I heard it from you first. Thanks for sharing! I'll be looking forward to That's Andy arriving on the Great White Way before the end of the year.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 03 April, 2007, Anonymous E said...

To where should I mail a check?

At 03 April, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Even though I know you don't like Annie, this does sound rather inspired, doesn't it?

Perhaps Corey can tell us more about the show.

At 03 April, 2007, Anonymous Esther said...

I don't know why it wouldn't work. Isn't "Annie" basically "Oliver" transported to Depression-era America?

At 03 April, 2007, Blogger E said...


Oliver....that's number three on my list.

BTW - did you see the item by Seth Rudetsky on today's Playbill.com? About Charlotte D'Amboise and "Carrie?" Genius - check it out.

At 03 April, 2007, Anonymous Corey Jackson said...

Bobby Cronin who conceived of the idea for the show and Directed the staged reading told us and the audience the night of the reading that the idea came to him one day when he was out and he saw a boy do a cartwheel. Just having fun. His dad pulled him aside and yelled at him to be a man. From that simple event, this musical came to be.

I think for a lot of people there are things we don't do that we really want to because society has put up walls, rules, etc. That is the basic idea.

The musical itself is not very preachy, it just presents this small midwestern simple town in reality. Beth Leavel as Betty Sweet coming in to save the town from disaster on National Television alongside the mayor of Grand Falls who has high political aspirations and, as Betty reveals to the live studio audience, has a little secret of his own. But I won't give it all away.

The character of Mary Martin, played in the reading by Lauren Kennedy, appears to Andy with a song "Like I Flew" that goes through how History has a funny way of judging anything different or new. She is the protagonist that pushes Andy to stand up for what he believes and just like she played Peter and people really believed she could fly, Andy can be that little girl in the red dress, if he wants to be.

I again will say that Kevin Carter's music is great. There is some awesome kids stuff that Andy and his friends sing. Everyone Loves Betty Sweet has a waltz, a softshoe, a fiery latin beat, and a Broadway ballad all mixed into one and it is fantastic.

I'm kind of all over the place here. What else do you want to know?

At 04 April, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, Guess I never made the connection between Oliver! and Annie -- maybe it's because the former didn't have that New Deal working for it or Daddy Warbucks.

E, Seth Rudetsky spins quite the stemwinder, doesn't he?! He's always an amusing read.

Finally, thank you Corey for providing a great synopsis on the show. My curiosity is certainly piqued!

At 04 April, 2007, Blogger BroadwayBaby said...

This could be a HUGe hit

At 04 April, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I agree. I think it sounds positively inspired. And if they're able to retain the actresses from the reading, holy hit!


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