Wonderful Town opens on Friday, December 2nd, and we’ve been watching rehearsals all week. Here are some things we thought might surprise you.
1. Long before Carrie Bradshaw lived in Greenwich Village, Ruth and Eileen Sherwood, played by Faith Prince and Nikki M. James, sought out to find fame and fortune in the big city. Greenwich Village is the backdrop for Wonderful Town.
2. One guy can play lots of parts. Roger Bart, serves as the narrator of Wonderful Town, but he also serves as the Tour Guide, Speedy Valenti – the nightclub owner, Chick Clark – the sharp newspaper guy and others too.
3. Hats are a thing – safari hats, propeller hats, top hats, fedoras. There are 38 hats in this production, Roger Bart wears seven of them as he plays his different characters and takes you through the story.
4. There’s Dating Advice: In her 2003 film, Kate Hudson might have taught us How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Ruth Sherwood has her beat with “One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man.”
5. You’ll know the music. You’ve heard it in commercials and on some of your favorite shows. Here’s “Ohio,” featuring Carol Burnette in Glee.
6. That creepy guy’s not so creepy anymore. Marc Kudisch is back. He played Joshua Crouch – the executioner and caretaker of the dissection theater in last season’s production of anatomy theater. As Robert Baker he’s a lonely editor who finds true love in the end.
7. You’ll learn the roots of the Conga – if you ask the Brazilian cadets, its American. Who knew?
8. You’ll hear what sounds like Charlie Brown’s school teacher amid the many voices of Wonderful Town.
9. There’s lots of Tony’s – Tony Award winners that is. Faith Prince, Nikki M. James and Roger Bart – all have them on their mantels. This award-winning cast brings Broadway to Los Angeles for this limited run. And David Lee, the director, known and recognized for Frazier, Wings, Everybody Loves Raymond and Cheers, has brought Leonard Bernstein’s beloved story to life.
10. It’s modern. How can a story written in the 50s about the 30s resonate today? Its themes are timeless – two girls following their dreams, finding true love where your least expect it. And in these crazy times, funny is timeless and Wonderful Town is the perfect way to get together with music lovers and escape to a time when swing was the thing.
To learn more about and purchase tickets to Wonderful Town your tickets, go here.LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.