No Clones Allowed

New Line Theatre lifts up its voice to bring you a new musical revue

Until recently, you might have been able to argue that the musical had become a dead art form. You could point out that stale plots and reliance on dated techniques were taking their toll.

Then came The Producers and its unearthly success. Here's a Broadway musical everyone can love, loaded with belly laughs and risky ideas, even. Look deeper, and for every twenty No, No, Nanettes you'll find the relevance of a Rent or the hilarity of a Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack.

Scott Miller, the don of New Line Theatre, brings us his annual sampler of songs from twenty different musicals at the Sheldon this week. This year's A New Line Cabaret, Episode II: Attack of the Show Tunes offers a divisive look at the history of American theater. The first half of the concert, "Songs We Love From Shows We'll Never Do," features various groupings of the eighteen-member company doing numbers from such musicals as Guys and Dolls, Mame and The Pajama Game.

Scott Miller
Scott Miller

Details

Performed at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, January 6 and 7. Call 314-534-1111 for tickets, priced at $5. Visit www.newlinetheatre.com for more info.
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Avenue

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"There's some wonderful music in those musicals," says Miller, "but we're never going to do them, either because they're too conventional or they're too big [for the ArtLoft Theatre]."

The concert's second half, "Songs From Shows We're Gonna Do," features tunes from Nine, the musical based on Fellini's 8 1/2; from Promises, Promises, based on the Billy Wilder film The Apartment; from The Wild Party, based on the lewd Jazz-Age story/poem by Joseph Moncure March; and from many other unusual new musicals.

A funny drawing promoting the concert looks like a "demonic Harold Hill [from The Music Man] with a baton with flames shooting out of it," Miller says. All we can say is that there's trouble right here in River City -- "trouble" with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for "progress."

 
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