Hollywood Tales Real and ‘Reel’ Combine in CITY OF ANGELS Musical

by Patricia Bradford

Welcome to the CITY OF ANGELS, a musical that weaves together two plots — the glamorously seductive world of 1940s Hollywood and a film noir detective story that is heading for the big screen. Add great songs and jazz music and it all adds up to a rare theater experience. Join Maurer Productions OnStage for CITY OF ANGELS at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre Fridays, May 6 and 13 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, May 7 and 14 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, May 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night show on Friday, May 6. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

With a book by Larry Gelbart, music by Cy Colman and lyrics by David Zippel, the show chronicles the misadventures of Stine, a young novelist writing his first screenplay for movie producer/director Buddy Fidler. While Buddy professes to be a fan of Stine’s work, the young screenwriter soon finds himself mired in rewrites to accommodate the egomaniacal Fidler.

Stine’s script stars a Raymond Chandler-esque private investigator named Stone. In this show within a show, every movie scene that Stine writes is acted out on stage in a black and white “film noir” world with a musical score reminiscent of a 1940s private eye film. Weaving the two worlds together on stage, Stine risks his integrity and his marriage while Stone is busy risking his life to solve a mystery. It’s a double tale of decadence, deceit and homicide – with a liberal sprinkling of fun.

Winner of the 1990 Tony Award for Best Musical, this technically challenging production uses most its cast members in dual roles – in the real world of Hollywood and in the movie world of Detective Stone. The cast includes: Sean St. Louis-Farrelly as Stone; John Zimmerman as Stine; Alexandra Rush as Gabby/Bobbi; Kim Cupo as Donna/Oolie; Peter Sauer as Buddy Fidler/Irwin S. Irving; Stephanie Zimmerman as Alaura /Carla; Jeffery Millstein as Luther /Werner; Matt Blazejeski as Peter/Gerald; Macy Jae Davis as Mallory/Avril; Jonathan Polanco as Lieutenant Muñoz/Pancho; Jim Petro as Jimmy Powers; Mattie Cassidy as Dr Mandril/Gilbert; James Zimmerman as Officer Pasco/Gene; Stan Karuzis as Big Six/Commissioner Gaines; Nick Pecht as Sonny/ Coroner; Michael Sherman as Del Dacosta/Mahoney; and introducing the “Angel City 4” Laura Young (soprano), Shannon Ferrara(alto), Matt Dawson (tenor), Bill Weir (bass).

The production team features Director John M. Maurer, whose previous Kelsey credits include large scale musicals like SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, MAN OF LA MANCHA, AVENUE Q and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. Working with Maurer are Stage Manager Beverly Kuo-Hamilton, Music Director Peter de Mets, and Choreographer Jane Coult. Costumes are by Anthony Remer.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, and $16 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

Theater/Organization Kelsey Theatre
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.kelseytheatre.net

Theater/Organization Address: 1200 Old Trenton Road West Windsor, New Jersey 08550 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (609) 570-3333

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