Michael Riedel reports in the New York Post this morning that a musical based on the famed 1950s television series The Honeymooners. A reading directed by Jerry Mitchell will take place today starring Jim Belushi (Ralph), Peter Scolari (Norton), Rachel York (Alice) and Helene Yorke (Trixie). The Honeymooners follows Ralph (originally played by Jackie Gleason) as an everyman and an underdog who struggled to make a better life for himself and his wife, but who ultimately failed due to his own shortcomings.
The book is written by Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss, and the musical is scored by Stephen Weiner and Peter Mills - the men behind the music of Iron Curtain that played Seattle this year.
Riedel, who has a copy of the script writes of the show: "The musical is a cute, extended version of a traditional "Honeymooners" episode. It opens on the streets of New York a few weeks before Christmas in 1950. Happy shoppers and carolers rush about, singing a peppy holiday song....A booming voice breaks in: 'Will you knock it off?!'...That's our Ralph.
For a full report and more script details from Riedel, click here.
The Honeymooners sitcom was based on a recurring 1951-'55 sketch of the same name. It originally aired on the DuMont network's Cavalcade of Stars and subsequently on the CBS network's The Jackie Gleason Show, hosted by Jackie Gleason, and filmed before a live audience. It debuted as a half-hour series on October 1, 1955. Although initially a ratings success - becoming the #2 show in the United States its first season - it dropped to #19 in the face of primetime competition, ending its production after only 39 episodes, now referred to as the "Classic 39". The final episode of The Honeymooners aired on September 22, 1956. Gleason went on to revive The Honeymooners as sketches and hour-long specials off and on through 1978.
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