“MINSKYS” Brings Old-Fashioned Fun to the AhmansonBy admin | May 27th, 2011 | Category: Entertainment, Spring 2009 | No Comments »
“MINSKYS” Brings Old-Fashioned Fun to the Ahmanson
Reviewed by Marilyn Anderson
We could be talking about today, but it’s actually the premise of the new depression-era musical at the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Based loosely on the 1968 movie, “The Night they Raided Minskys,” and the 1960 book of the same name, the show tells the fictionalized story of real-life impresario Billy Minsky (Christopher Fitzgerald), trying to prevent his burlesque theater from closing down due to the efforts of a hard-nosed politician (George Wendt).
Add to that his romantic interest in the politician’s daughter (Katherine Leonard), who of course doesn’t know his real identity. Then there’s the troupe of hopeful actors who don’t want to lose their jobs, along with a pair of nerds who fall for each other (John Cariani and Rachel Dratch of “Saturday Night Live” fame.)
It’s a simple and formulaic plot, but it works, thanks to excellent performers, snappy songs, and sensational production numbers. The bathtub scene is a splash with girls dancing inand out of tubs. The lobster scene is delicious with humorous clawed costumes, and the button scene . . . well, let’s just say it will keep you hooked.
“Minskys” is an old-fashioned musical for sure, but who says old-fashioned can’t be wonderful. Apple pie is old-fashioned. Christmas is old-fashioned. Even sex is old-fashioned, but we enjoy them all . . . over and over again. So just sit back and enjoy an evening of new old-fashioned musical theater that will have you smiling from beginning to end.
The new musical was brought to the stage by members of the same team that had success with another old-fashioned musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Writer Bob Martin was Drowsy’s co-author and star, and Casey Nicholaw is the director and choreographer.
“Minskys” musical score comes from the acclaimed Charles Strouse, who won Tonys for such classics as “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Applause,” and “Annie.” The lyrics are by Susan Birkenhead of “Jelly’s Last Jam.”
Unfortunately, “Minskys” run has ended at the Ahmanson, but watch for it to open on Broadway in the future.
Meanwhile, there are a host of other terrific shows coming to the Ahmanson this year. For those who are watching their budget during the current financial turmoil, check out the Center Theatre Group’s super deal for Hot Tix at only $20.
Here are some of the upcoming shows at the Ahmanson:
Apr 18 – May 31, 2009
Dame Edna: My First Last Tour
Jun 9 – 21, 2009
An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin
Jun 23 – Jun 28, 2009
July 7 – Sept 6, 2009
Other shows in the 2009-2010 season are August: Osage County;Mary Poppins; Dreamgirls; and South Pacific.
Ahmanson Theatre – Center Theatre Group
601 W Temple St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone for tickets: 213-628-2772 / For Season Tickets call: 213-972-4444