'Nanette,' 'Importance' skedded for Guild
The 10th-season lineup for the Musical Theater Guild includes “No No Nanette,” celebrating the centennial of composer Irving Caesar, and the first Los Angeles-area production of Off Broadway tuner “A Man of No Importance.”
MTG presents concert staged readings of seldom-seen musicals at Glendale’s Alex Theater, where it’s a resident company, as well as at Cal State Long Beach’s Carpenter Performing Arts Center (in partnership with Musical Theater West) and at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza’s Janet & Ray Scherr Forum.
Season starts with “Do Re Mi,” celebrating the centenary of composer Jule Styne. Score by Styne, including “Make Someone Happy,” has lyrics by Comden & Green; book is by Garson Kanin. Phil Silvers starred on Broadway, where “Do Re Mi” ran 400 performances and was Tony-nominated as 1961’s best musical. It runs one night only, Sept. 21, at 7:30 at the Alex.
For its second show of the season, “No, No Nanette,” MTG received a grant from the Irving Caesar Trust of the ASCAP Foundation. In addition to feting songwriter Caesar, who co-wrote lyrics with Otto Harbach, production celebrates MTG founding member Susan Watson, who played Nanette in the 1971 Broadway revival. Music is by Vincent Youmans, book by Harbach and Frank Mandel. Performances are Nov. 14 at 7:30 at the Alex (with a special post-perf discussion with the cast) and Nov. 21 at 7:30 at the Carpenter Center.
Next up is “A Man of No Importance,” with a book by Terrence McNally based on the film starring Albert Finney, with music by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. The “Ragtime” team reunites on this musical, first seen at Lincoln Center in 2002, about a Dublin bus conductor who’s also director of the local community theater. Perfs are 7:30 Feb. 6 at the Alex; 3 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Scherr Forum in Thousand Oaks; and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Carpenter Center.
A 50th-anni production of “Li’l Abner,” based on Al Capp’s comic strip, follows. Composer Gene de Paul collaborated with lyricist Johnny Mercer, with a book by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, for this musical that ran 693 performances on Broadway from 1956-58. Perfs are 7:30 p.m. April 24 at the Alex; 3 p.m. April 30 at the Scherr Forum; and 7:30 p.m. May 8 at the Carpenter Center.
Closing the season is a 40th-anni production of “The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd,” a stylized “Laurel & Hardy” set to music by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse. It will be performed June 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Alex and June 18 at 3 p.m. at the Scherr Forum.
For more information or for season tickets, call (818) 848-6844 or visit www.musicaltheatreguild.com