Musical theatre workshops and productions

Musicals with a new look….

A new look….

We all need a new look sometimes.  Today, my blog gets a new look. If you are reading this on the web, you will not see much change – sorry.  Every day I am learning new things about how to reach an audience and say what I have to say.

scarlettBut….speaking of new looks, I am reminded of the musical SCARLET PIMPERNEL.  I will admit I saw it on Broadway not once but twice.  I had a friend in the show!  One of the times I attended, I saw it with my Mother, who flew into New York from Milwaukee.  After the performance, we were treated to a backstage tour.  Douglas Sills, the amazing star in the show, very graciously accepted us into his dressing room after my friend, Don, knocked on the door — and walked right in, without waiting for a reply.  It gave my Mother the biggest thrill to have a partially dressed Mr. Sills greet her by name.

So, back to SCARLET PIMPERNEL….I loved the show when it opened at the Minskoff Theatre, but it was not doing well.  Sales were not great and the reviews were not glowing.  But, with the Tony Awards coming up, the producers were not going to give up yet.  To give the show a bit of a kick, the writers went back to the script and score and the actors went back into rehearsal – during the Broadway run!  I remember my friend telling us that the leads were performing one show at night and rehearsing another during the day….all to save the show.

The new show opened later at another Broadway theatre with two new leading actors and a different script!  Alas, the updated version did not last long either, and it closed after a few months.  Still all that work was worth the trouble.  The new look of the show was enough to propel a tour.  And the tour, in turn, put the show on the roster for the licensing companies.  And so it continues to be performed today.

I have the poster of SCARLET PIMPERNEL in my office today, I look at the man behind the gloved hand and think of my friend who was in the show and remember how the “new look” changed the show forever.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend.

Larry Little

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