UnsungMusicalsCo. Inc. will present a special exploratory reading of the 1969 musical comedy The Fig Leaves Are Falling as part of The Archival Project, a UMC initiative aimed at researching, assembling and restoring the material from unpublished and out-of-print musical shows. Featuring John Bolton (Curtains, Spamalot), Troy Britton Johnson (The Drowsy Chaperone), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q) and Cortney Wolfson (Legally Blonde, The Addams Family), the reading will be held on July 29 at 3pm at Manhattan Theatre Club's Creative Center, 311 West 43rd Street.
With book and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Allan Sherman (Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh) and music by Tony Award winner Albert Hague (Redhead, Plain and Fancy), UMC is currently developing a new version of the musical with revisions and direction by UMC artistic director Ben West (How Now, Dow Jones, Platinum) and musical direction and arrangements by Andrew Graham (Avenue Q).
The Fig Leaves Are Falling is a swinging ‘60s satire of suburban life, love and infidelity. Variety meets vaudeville in this lively entertainment following Harry Stone and his melodious mid-life crisis.
The cast will also feature Pilin Anice (Junie B. Jones), Jonathan Burke (Langston in Harlem), Catherine LeFrere (Just in Time: The Judy Holliday Story) and Christopher Ruth (Yank!). Additional casting will be announced soon.
This new one-act version of The Fig Leaves Are Falling refocuses the story by employing a smaller cast of eight and eliminating six musical numbers, while restoring three previously cut songs: "Man", "Anything Can Happen", "Westchester Wildcat".
To attend the reading and receive invitations to future UMC readings, visit www.UnsungMusicals.org. UMC's Archival Project is currently restoring the material to several additional unpublished musicals including the legendary 1935 revue At Home Abroad.
The original Broadway production of The Fig Leaves Are Falling opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on January 4, 1969. The George Abbott production starred Barry Nelson, Dorothy Loudon and Jenny O'Hara. Over 40 songs were written for the musical which was originally titled Birth is the Coward's Way Out. After years of gestation, numerous rewrites and significant staff changes throughout the entire process, the Broadway production closed after only 4 performances. Loudon received a Tony Award nomination for her performance.
UNSUNGMUSICALSCO. INC. (Ben West, Artistic Director) is a not-for-profit Production Company dedicated to the preservation of musical theatre through the presentation of infrequently performed works. Focusing primarily on overlooked projects from the Golden Age, both hits and substantive misses, UMC treats each property as a new musical thereby providing a unique collaboration between the artists of today and those of the past. UMC has also created a new initiative aimed at researching, assembling and restoring the material from unpublished and out-of-print musical shows: The Archival Project. www.UnsungMusicals.org
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy