You could see the usual Broadway faces — Andy Karl, Laura Osnes, Rachel York — in the opening night audience of the Roundabout Theater Company’s production of “Holiday Inn” Oct. 6. But with Universal Stage Productions on board, film and TV names showed up too: from execs Jimmy Horowitz, Robert Greenblatt and Chris Herzberger to Rebel Wilson and Josh Charles.
They made for an enthusiastic crowd for “Holiday Inn,” the feel-good show based on the 1942 Paramount film (which is now in Universal’s catalog, through a purchase made by Universal) and starring Bryce Pinkham (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”) and Corbin Bleu, the “High School Musical” alum who’s back on Broadway after stints in “In the Heights” and “Godspell.”
“It’s just a very happy, positive show,” he said after the opening night performance. “I’m never searching for a deeper meaning. I just get to go out and have fun.”
He didn’t know the movie initially, but now he’s very fond of it — even though it includes a few elements that would never fly today. “I’m in love with it. Well, minus the blackface number. It’s a little dated, but it’s a beautiful movie.”
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The new book for the musical is co-written by Gordon Greenberg, who also directed, and Chad Hodge, the TV writer whose new TV show, “Good Behavior” with Michelle Dockery, bows on TNT next month. The blackface number went immediately, of course — that part was easy. Then they had to beef up the female roles.
“For me, the biggest challenge was finding a way to make the female characters actual people,” he said. “In the movie, they’re very… Well, they’re simple women.”