July 26 – September 1
By Mel Brooks and Joe Darion
Music by George Kleinsinger
Lyrics by Joe Darion
Directed by James Valcq
Featuring a book by comedy legend Mel Brooks and Joe Darion, and a “cool” jazz score that remains one of the only examples of this genre in the commercial theatre, SHINBONE ALLEY was one of the most daring musicals of the 1950’s. This off-beat musical has appeared in almost every form, including a record and a concert with Carol Channing, a Broadway musical with Eartha Kitt, a television special with Tammy Grimes and, eventually an animated film.
In a deserted office, a cockroach dives headfirst onto the keys of a typewriter, pouring out the ruminations of his soul. It’s “archy” (he’s too small to hold down the shift key), poet, philosopher, moralist and hapless friend of “mehitabel”, the alley cat. This bizarre, highly original musical takes us into the streets of the big city as archy tries hopelessly to bring the “toujours gai” mehitabel off the back fence and into a respectable home as a housecat.
This will be a rare chance to see a true forgotten gem of Broadway’s Golden Age.
At 90 years old, the prince of parody has been awarded four Emmys, three Grammys, one Oscar, and three Tonys (and, as the self-described “EGOTAK” is quick to point out, awards from the American Film Institute and the Kennedy Center). In the new HBO documentary If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast, he joins other notable nonagenarians in singing the praises of advanced age with host Carl Reiner. SHINBONE ALLEY was his first Broadway musical.
Joe Darion’s greatest success came in the 1965-66 season with Man Of La Mancha (with a score by Mitch Leigh) winning the Drama Critics Circle Award as well as five Tonys. In 1967 came Illya Darling based on the popular Jules Dassin film Never On Sunday (with a score by the movie’s soundtrack composer Manos Hadjidakis) bringing the Greek film star Melina Mercouri to Broadway.
George Kleinsinger was an American composer and orchestrator best known for his collaboration
with Paul Tripp on the 1940s children’s classical-music piece “Tubby the Tuba”. He also wrote the music for the recording of Archy & Mehitabel and the Broadway musical based on the record, “Shinbone
Alley”. His collaboration with Joe Darion extended beyond SHINBONE ALLEY. Together they wrote several cartoon shorts as well as a Christmas opera for the Little Orchestra Society.
Visit the TAP box office across from the theatre in historic downtown Sturgeon Bay (234 North Third Avenue)
Or call TAP at (920) 743 1760.