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Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013

Movie to Musical to Waukesha

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At some point in the mid-1970s, playwright Neil Simon wrote a script said to have been partly inspired by the life of a young Dustin Hoffman. The title of the script was Bogart Slept Here. It was set to become a major motion picture titled The Goodbye Girl starring Robert De Niro. After some complications, it was decided that De Niro wasn’t the right actor for the job, so they got Richard Dreyfuss for the part. He went on to receive an Academy Award for his performance and the movie went on to be adapted into a musical composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics by David Zippel.

The musical, which debuted on Broadway some 20 years ago, opens this week at Waukesha Civic Theatre. The story is a sharply constructed interpersonal comedy set in New York in the ’70s. A mother and her daughter are living together in an apartment they share with her actor boyfriend, who leaves them abruptly. He has sublet his end of the apartment to a friend, also a young actor. Mother, daughter and actor meet under less-than-ideal circumstances. As this is a musical comedy, there is little doubt that they will have difficulty getting along. And, as this is a musical comedy, there’s little doubt that romance will become involved.

The Waukesha Civic Theatre’s production of The Goodbye Girl runs Sept. 13-29. For tickets, call the box office at 262-547-0708 or visit waukeshacivictheatre.org.


Theatre Happenings


This week, Theatre Unchained opens an intimate staging of Monty Python’s Spamalot. The irrepressibly popular Eric Idle musical runs in the studio theater Sept. 6-22 at 1024 S. Fifth St. For tickets, call 414-391-7145 or visit theatreunchained.com.

Alice Wilson-Stuart’s Rockabilly Girl Productions stages a variety show next week at Next Act Theatre (255 S. Water St.). The Blue Hawaii Spectacular features burlesque, juggling and puppetry among other things with numerous acts, including Gravity Plays Favorites, Francesca Alfresca, Gypsy Geoff, Lumpy the Golem Boy and more, Sept. 13-14. For tickets, visit brownpapertickets.com/event/406964.

The first Broadway musical based on a serious documentary, Grey Gardens tells the story of two reclusive New York socialites. Milwaukee musical theater greats Niffer Clarke and Marilyn White play the central characters—relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis—supported by the immense musical talents of Jack Forbes Wilson. Off The Wall Theatre’s production is the Midwest premiere of this Tony-winning play and runs Sept. 11-22. For tickets, visit offthewalltheatre.com or call 414-484-8874.
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