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Forster tuner ‘Barrels’ down on Off Broadway

Kreppel taking helm

Producers are ready to pull the trigger on John Forster’s newest tuner, “Both Barrels,” in an Off Broadway run at the Variety Arts.

Show, currently at the Goodspeed Opera House in Chester, Conn., is a revue of 22 musical vignettes satirizing modern life.

Producers Leonard Soloway, Steven Levy, Sandy Faison, Chase Mishkin and the Goodspeed Opera and will partner on “Barrels.”

Kreppel locks on helm

“That ’70s Show” regular thesp Paul Kreppel will helm the tuner, which will bow at the 399-seat Variety Arts sometime in early August, according to Faison.

“What’s amazing is that Paul and John and I, who’ve known each other for 27 years, basically sat around the kitchen table and said, ‘Let’s put on a show,’ ” said Faison. “It’s come a long way from the basement at Luna Park.” (For the past eight months, the show has been at the L.A. nightspot in cabaret format, winning the L.A. Times Critics Choice Award.)

‘Freaky’ Forster

Forster, who wrote the book, music and lyrics to “Barrels,” is best known for writing the book and lyrics to the Mary Rodgers tuner “Freaky Friday,” and was nommed this year for a Grammy for producing Tom Chapin’s kiddie album, “In My Hometown.”

It’s a bit of a reunion for Faison, best known for her work on Broadway in “Annie,” who starred opposite Jane Curtin in Forster’s Off Broadway show “Pretzels” some 25 years ago.

“I’ve been laughing at his stuff ever since,” said Faison.

Tuner ranges on topics comedic and serious, from race relations — “Passing” concerns Thomas Jefferson’s descendants, black and white — to the unintended social effects of China’s one-child policy (“1,000,000 Little Emperors”) and the U.S. armed forces’ “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (the parody “In the Closet”).

Gotham casting for the tuner has not yet been finalized.