Laughs a Plenty and Fun Tunes Await You at Encores! Little Me
By: Ellis Nassour
Do you want to forget the slush and go to ports such as France, Hollywood, Monte Carlo, Southampton, Venezuela, even Chicago [no, you don’t want to go there!] – if not in person, at least in the imaginative mind of comedy master Neil Simon and award-winning composers Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh and their delightful musical concoction, Little Me. City Center’s Encores! has got the goods to relieve you of the winter blahs and have you rolling on the floor with howls of laughter.
The 1962 Broadway show, based on the novel by Patrick Dennis of Auntie Mame fame, was directed by Bob Fosse and co-producer Cy Feur, starring the initimable Sid Caesar, impersonating seven characters, ran for over 250 performances [not as long as it should have, sadly]. It was nominated for 11 Tonys, including Musical, Actor, Score, and Choreography, and did win in the latter category. There have been two revivals.
The opening production of City Center Encores! season, runs through Sunday. Tony-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) is at the helm, with Bob Berman directing the large Encores! orchestra. Choreography by former Broadway dancer Joshua Bergasse, who not only appeared in but also staged many of the musical numbers for SMASH.
Little Me, Neil Simon’s first musical, is the story of the glamorous, larger-than-life young Belle Poitrine – portrayed by Rachel York [still so vividly memorable for Norma Cassidy in Victor/Victoria] and, as the older Belle, Tony-winner Judy Kaye [who recently was hanging from a chandelier in Nice Work If You Can Get It] – a self-invented celebrity who has spent her life in pursuit of wealth, culture, and social position.
Tony-winner Christian Borle [Peter and the Starcatcher; TV’s SMASH], plays Belle’s oddball suitors and lovers, who range from an innocent college boy and an octogenarian lecher to the dying king of a tiny European country that doesn’t seem to exist.
Robert Creighton, David Garrison, Harriet Harris, Lewis J. Stadlen, Lee Wilkof, and Tony Yazbeck are featured.
Little Me tickets are $30-$13 and available at the City Center box office, CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or online at www.NYCityCenter.org. For showtimes, visit the website.