THE KID FROM BROOKLYN: The Danny Kaye Musical, the critically-acclaimed new musical based on the life of entertainment legend Danny Kaye, is coming to the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, for a limited engagement previewing May 28, opening June 7 and running through August 24, before making its way to New York City in the spring of 2009.
This local engagement follows an unprecedented sell-out run in Los Angeles El Portal Theatre, where THE KID FROM BROOKLYN now holds the record for the longest-running, highest-grossing show on the mainstage of the El Portal Theatre. The shows engagement was twice extended because of popular demand for tickets.
Directed by Peter J. Loewy, with book by Mark Childers and Peter J. Loewy, and musical direction by Charlie Harrison and David Cohen, THE KID FROM BROOKLYN stars Helen Hayes Award Winner, Brian Childers as Danny Kaye and Karin Leone as Sylvia Fine, with Christina Purcell and Adam LeBow. The show was first produced at the Broward Stage Door Theatre in Ft. Lauderdale by Loewy/Leone Productions.
Based on the turbulent and triumphant life of Danny Kaye, this intimate musical portrayal chronicles Kayes career and his relationships on and off the stage as we follow the rise of Danny Kaye from an undisciplined improvisational comic to his success under the guidance of his wife, Sylvia Fine. An amazingly versatile pair of supporting players appears and disappears throughout the performance creating distinct and believable portrayals of a myriad of luminaries who are interwoven with Kaye and Fine: Eve Arden (with whom Kaye was both professionally and romantically linked from the time they first paired on Broadway), Samuel Goldwyn, Kitty Carlisle, Cole Porter, Vivien Leigh, Billy Rose, Laurence Olivier, and handfuls of other fascinating characters. Backed by a live four-piece ensemble, musical highlights include Tchaikovsky, By Jingo, Minnie the Moocher & Inchworm. The Kid From Brooklyn features the work of musical greats, including Sylvia Fine, Rodgers & Hart, Frank Loesser & Cole Porter, to name a few.
About Danny Kaye (b. January 18, 1913, d. March 3, 1987)
Danny Kayes fame began when he became the first man (at least the first in recorded history) to sing a song in which he named 54 Russian composers in 38 seconds. The song was "Tchaikovsky." The place was Broadway's Alvin Theater on January 21, 1941. The show was Moss Hart's musical, Lady in the Dark. Hart had discovered this young mobile-faced, nimble-tongued redhead in a small Manhattan basement nightspot and written him into the play with the now-famous 11-minute part of a temperamental photographer who had developed the art of tongue-twisters. The number brought the second act to a standstill. Danny Kaye never stood still in his profession again.
He was born David Daniel Kaminsky, the son of an immigrant Ukrainian tailor. After having dropped out of school in his teens, he got early experience as a comedian on the Borscht circuit of summer hotels and camps in the Catskills. With the help of his wife, composer-lyricist Sylvia Fine Kaye, who provided much of his musical material, he continued to gain prominence. She wrote many of the songs and gags that brought him to the attention of Samuel Goldwyn in 1944.
Starting with the film Up In Arms, he was for a decade one of the screen's biggest comedy and musical stars--often as disaster-prone, manic clown with good intentions and a plethora of words flung out haphazardly and at a dizzying rate. Films he made during this period included Wonderman, THE KID FROM BROOKLYN, The Court Jester, Merry Andrew, Me and the Colonel, and The Inspector General. He also starred in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Hans Christian Andersen, White Christmas, and The Five Pennies and was the recipient of a special Academy Award in 1954.
He took his one-man concert revue to London in 1948, and his success at the Palladium was instant. The Royal Family not only went to see him, but for the first time in history left the royal box and sat in the first row of the orchestra. Life Magazine described England's reaction to Kaye as "worshipful hysteria." Another aspect of his career was conducting major symphony orchestras, even though he claimed he could not read a note of music, and he had been known to conduct with a fly swatter. The music, however, was true to its symphonic form, with no less than Zubin Mehta stating that Kaye "has a very efficient conducting style." His Live from Lincoln Center: An Evening with Danny Kaye and the New York Philharmonic, broadcast on PBS, was partially responsible for the Peabody Award Kaye received in 1981. The award was presented to him for "his superb and stimulating entertainment efforts" both for that performance and for his serious dramatic role as a Nazi concentration camp survivor that year in the TV movie, Skokie.
Kaye was a familiar face on television. He starred in his own musical-variety series, The Danny Kaye Show, for four seasons (1963-67). It won him an Emmy Award in 1963. He also received an Emmy for his 1975 appearance on Danny Kaye's Look-In and the Metropolitan Opera, part of The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People series.
When he returned to Broadway in 1970 in Two by Two, he hurt his hip but continued with the show, appearing night after night for 10 months either on crutches or in a wheelchair. Although performing was the backbone of his life, Kaye's heart was also with UNICEF for which he was a permanent ambassador-at-large to the world's children. He was so identified with the United Nations agency that when in 1965 UNICEF received the Nobel Peace Prize, Kaye was selected to accept it. The entertainer logged thousands of miles on his UNICEF jaunts, once visiting 65 cities in five days, and did all the piloting, one of his hobbies. Laughter, however, is what he did best -- singing, impersonating and miming, making audiences laugh and cry in the same breath, changing staid adults into grinning children by making faces at them. As a youngster, David Daniel Kaminsky wanted to be a doctor. Indeed he became one, using what is considered the best medicine.
About The Cast
Brian Childers (Danny Kaye) has captured hearts across the nation with his critically acclaimed portrayal of Danny Kaye. He received the 2002 Helen Hayes Award for "Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical" and the Mary Goldwater Award for his performance as Danny Kaye in Danny and Sylvia: A Musical Love Story. He also received the 2005 Star-Ledger Award as Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Harry Witherspoon in Lucky Stiff at the Forum Theater. Prior to spending the last 18 months touring the country in THE KID FROM BROOKLYN, Childers starred in the title role in the national tour of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Ken Ludwig. Other notable credits include: The Prince in the World Premiere Musical. Becoming George at Metrostage in Washington D.C., Jamie Lockhart in The Robber Bridegroom, Austin Lowe in The Second Man, Emory in The Boys in the Band (GLAAD Nomination), Ralph Rackstraw in Hollywood Pinafore, and as Arthur in Detective Story with The American Century Theater in D.C. He has performed at the Kennedy Center in the new musical 90 North, as Bobby Kennedy in The Titans, and the 9/11 benefit entitled Not A Day Goes By. Other credits include: Man Of La Mancha (Olney Theater), Crack Between The Worlds (Studio Theater), Joseph in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Cumberland County Playhouse), Tony in West Side Story, and the Balladeer in Assassins (Columbia Repertory Theater). Brian is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. http://groups.msn.com/brianchilders
Karin Leone (Sylvia Fine) originated the role of Sylvia Fine, for which she received her second Best Actress in a Musical nomination by the Star-Ledger. Originally from South Florida and a proud alumnus of Shenandoah Conservatory, Karin has performed in venues across the country including Walt Disney World and the Kennedy Center. Favorite credits include Mrs. Walker in The Whos Tommy (Lyric Theatre), The Vagina Monologues (Forum Theatre), and Rita in Lucky Stiff (Forum Theatre). It was her role in the musical Respect (Cuillo Centre), however, that brought her together with her husband, producer/director Peter J. Loewy. Peter and Karin formed Loewy / Leone Productions, which has produced several hits, including THE KID FROM BROOKLYN, Beyond the Rainbow and George M. Cohan Tonight.
Christina Purcell (Eve Arden, et al) is no stranger to changing characters on a dime, having traveled the globe as the lead female vocalist for several major cruise lines. Closer to home, Los Angeles audiences may remember her as Woman 2 in Putting It Together (Sierra Madre Playhouse), Beverly in Destiny's Calling (Stella Adler Theatre), and Lucy in The Threepenny Opera (Odyssey Theatre) for which she received a Backstage Garland Award - Honorable Mention for Individual Performance. New York and regional credits include Nurse Jackie in A Too Fast Waltz (La Mama ETC), Lina Lamont in Singin In The Rain (Rockwell), Melissa Frake in State Fair (Shenandoah Summer Theatre), and Andrew Sisters Trio in W-Wow! Radio (Kaufman Theatre). In addition, she has twice been a National Anthem soloist for the NY Mets. Christina has also enjoyed writing and performing her own work, Celestial Longings and Savoring The Brew: A Taste Of Shakespeare's Women. www.christinapurcell.com
Adam Lebow (Eddie Dukoff, Sam Goldwyn, et al) actually is a kid from Brooklyn, having been born and raised to the age of four in New York's most storied borough. His family then moved to Long Island, and Adam studied acting there and in Manhattan throughout his childhood, then went to Yale for his undergraduate work. He continued his training at Williamstown Theatre Festival, the American Conservatory Theatre, and the T. Schreiber Studio; and today studies voice with Ilona Simon-Muller and acting with Millie Slavin. His acting and directing efforts have taken him to numerous parts of the US as well as to Japan and the UK. Recent resume highlights include his portrayal of the controversial director Elia Kazan in the award-winning Inside Private Lives, which ran for more than a year in Hollywood, then traveled to New York's off-Broadway 59E59 Theatre, then to Scotland for the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and will be remounted at The Pasadena Playhouse this spring. His last musical outing was last year's "Mini-Musical" series produced by the Academy for New Musical Theatre at Burbank's Colony Theatre, including a short work by Avenue Q creator Jeff Marx developed with Jeff in residence. Look for Adam online in the upcoming Internet TV series Elect Me '08, scheduled for release later this year.
About The Creative Team
Mark Childers (Co-author) Mark has worked professionally with both The American Century Theater, in the D.C. Premiere production of Hollywood Pinafore, and the Columbia Repertory Theater, in their production of Assassins. Four years ago, Mark left the stage to follow a career in writing. He has worked as a script supervisor on three feature independents, A House Divided with Jodum Pictures, Rage/ Beautiful with Lono Productions and most recently as both script supervisor and assistant director on the Feature Length Movie Soul Sister, which will make its debut at Sundance in the spring. His upcoming project, Karma's Choice, for which he is both writer and director, will begin principal shooting this month, with a release date sometime later in the year. Mark is also on the board of the Boston Film Critics.
Peter J. Loewy (Co-Author/Director/Producer) honed his craft under the tutelage of some of Broadways best. He worked on Broadway with librettist Michael Stewart, director Joe Layton and legendary producer David Merrick on such shows as Barnum, Bring Back Birdie and 42nd Street. He was also an assistant to Michael Stewart, the writer of Hello, Dolly! for over three years. Mr. Loewy was also the Founder and has been the Producing Artistic Director of the Forum Theatre Company in central New Jersey for the last 25 years, during which time he has produced and directed over 90 plays and musicals. He has directed world premiere plays and musicals throughout the country, including Kiss The Bride, a world premiere farce at TheatreFest, Montclair State Universitys professional theatre in residence; the musical Crooners at Phoenix Theatre in Arizona; and the musical Kuni-Leml at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, to name a few. Mr. Loewy also toured his production of the Allen Sherman musical, Hello Mudduh, Hello Faddah to Boston and Florida. He imported from Londons King Head Theatre the musical Mr. Cinders and subsequently produced and directed the North American premiere at the Forum Theatre to sold-out houses. He commissioned a new work about WWII freedom-fighter Hannah Sennesh entitled Hannah Sennesh, The Mission Home, which he directed at The Forum Theatre. He then was asked by Dan Crawford at the Kings Head to bring the play to London and to direct it. Peter and wife, Karin Leone, founded Loewy/Leone Productions two short years ago and have already churned out a string of hits including THE KID FROM BROOKLYN, Beyond The Rainbow and George M. Cohan Tonight. Television and film credits include the Emmy Award winning childrens series, Unicorn Tales for NBC, and working with director Howard Storm in Los Angeles. He developed and wrote the award winning short subject musical Dracula Bites the Big Apple, which won best short subject at the Houston Film Festival.
Susie Paplow (Choreographer) is honored to continue her journey with THE KID FROM BROOKLYN all the way to Los Angeles. In addition to choreographing the show, Ms. Paplow had an invaluable part in the research and development of this piece. An accomplished actress, Susie originated the Eve Arden/Gertrude Lawrence track in the premier of THE KID FROM BROOKLYN. Together with her favorite collaborator, Peter Loewy, she has staged over 15 productions. Favorites include The Rink, Minnie's Boys, The Rothschilds and Two By Two. Susie is also resident choreographer for the Pushcart Players New Jerseys premier theatre for young audiences where she has developed and choreographed over 20 original musical productions. Susie is a recipient of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Applause Award given in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the NJ Professional Arts Community. She has also been nominated & awarded the Star-Ledger Award for her performances in The Rothschilds, Grand Night For Singing and Lucky Stiff.
Shon LeBlanc (Costume Designer) has designed over 600 productions in L.A. and around the US. He has been recognized for his work with nine Drama-Logue awards, six Garland Awards, a Drama Critics Circle Award, an L.A. Weekly award, the Ovation Award (for Theatre Neos The Women), the LAVC and Garland Award for The Ghost And Mrs. Muir with James Barbour and Lynne Wintersteller at NOHO Arts, and most recently an NAACP Image Award nomination for The Bluebonnet Court. Last year Mr. LeBlanc had the privilege to design six world premiere productions including MANOR OF TRUST, EQUINOX, One Way Ticket To Hell, Lizard, Conjunto, Bluebonnet Court and the west coast premiere of Friends Like These with Donna Mills. He is the owner of Valentinos Costumes in Van Nuys and divides his time between L.A. and San Francisco, where he teaches Costume Design at the Academy of Art University.
Andrew Myers (Lighting Design) is glad to be part of this show, having lit the Ft Lauderdale production. Based in Chicago, Andrew's work has been seen at the Arkansas Rep, Virginia Musical Theatre, The Madison Rep, the Milwaukee Rep, and the Skylight Opera. In Chicago, he has designed for City Lit, Red Moon, the Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens and the Joffrey Ballet. He is the resident Designer for Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee, and for Light Opera Works in Chicago. He lights corporate, fashion, and trade shows around the world, and is sometimes the Lighting Designer for the Richard Thompson Band.
Tickets for THE KID FROM BROOKLYN: The Danny Kaye Musical, are priced at $42.50 for Wednesday and Thursday performances and $48.50 for performances Friday through Sunday. Preview performances are priced at $32.50 for Wednesdays and Thursdays; and $38.50 for performances Friday through Sunday. Tickets are available by phone at 773.325.1700 or online at www.thekidfrombrooklynmusical.com. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available by calling Group Theater Tix at (312) 423-6612 or visiting www.grouptheatertix.com. The performance schedule for THE KID FROM BROOKLYN is Wednesdays at 2pm, Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 2pm.
Event submitted by Eventful.com on behalf of ajaniszewski.
Added by ajaniszewski on May 27, 2008