The York Theatre Company continues the Winter 2013 Musicals in Mufti Series with the 1956 musical hit, Happy Hunting, with book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, lyrics by Matt Dubey and music by Harold Karr. Directed by David Glenn Armstrong and with music direction by David Andrews Rogers, the cast stars KLea Blackhurst, and will feature Janine DiVita, Joy Franz, Jessica Grové, Seán Martin Hingston, Michael McCormick, Heather Parcells, Andrew Samonsky, Eric Sciotto, Michael Sharon, Eric Sciotto and Lynne Wintersteller.
The limited engagement will play 5 performances only, March 15 - 17, 2013 at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue).
Mama Rose meets "The Hostess with the Mostes' on the Ball" in Happy Hunting, the 1956 musical that was a star vehicle written for the incomparable Ethel Merman. A huge, flamboyant, bubbly, light-hearted romp, Happy Hunting features a gag-filled book by the authors of Anything Goes and a delectable score featuring the Merman classics "Mutual Admiration Society" and "Gee, But It's Good to Be Here."
When Liz Livingstone--rich, widowed Philadelphia hostess with a heart of gold--perceives a snub at the Grace Kelly-Prince Rainier "Wedding of the Year" in Monaco, she single-mindedly sets out to snare an even more impressively titled husband for her daughter. Things get predictably complicated when she succeeds and then promptly falls for her intended son-in-law herself. Meanwhile, the bride-to-be only has eyes for the society lawyer, and Liz's dashing Duke turns out to be very possibly penniless.
"I am genetically predisposed toward celebrating the works of Ethel Merman," stated KLea Blackhurst. "I know a lot about the First Lady of Musical Theatre and have enjoyed playing some of her most celebrated roles. I've walked miles in those tiny pumps and enjoyed life from behind her proverbial highball. " She went on to add, "But never, in my wildest dreams, did I expect someone to come knocking and ask me to take a swing at Happy Hunting! It takes a genius and a fabulous theatre company to make that call."
Director David Glenn Armstrong has this to share, "Happy Hunting is a joyous re-discovery, an amazing slice of 1956 Broadway escapist fun. The score, by the "infamous" dentist caricatured in Bells are Ringing, is irresistibly addictive (I dare anyone not to have the song "If'n" stuck in their head for hours after hearing it)." The libretto, by the masters of crazy shenanigans, Lindsay and Crouse, is just plain ridiculous and includes scenes aboard a transatlantic ocean liner (naturally), a two-page conversation between Ethel Merman's character and a horse, and even a full-on fox hunt (complete with a directionally-challenged fox)." He went on to say, "I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of bringing this delightfully silly show back to the boards with our stunning cast."
The performance schedule for Happy Hunting will be: Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m.* and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.* & 7:30 p.m. (*Audience discussions follow all matinee performances).
Tickets are priced at $39.50 and are available online at www.yorktheatre.org, by calling (212) 935-5820, or in person at the box office at the York Theatre Company at Saint Peter's (Entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), Monday through Friday (12-6 PM).
The York Theatre Company's acclaimed Musicals in Mufti series of musical theatre gems, in a simply-staged, book-in-hand concert format, has presented over 90 shows from the past in its eighteen-year history. Mufti means: "in street clothes, without the trappings associated with the original full productions."