Audiences wanted it, now they have it. Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble, one of New York's longest-running experimental theatres, is bringing back this fall's hit production of Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen for seven performances only. There is one preview on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. The show officially opens on Saturday, Jan. 19. at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and the closing performance is on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. The theatre is located at 549 W. 52nd Street, 3rd Floor, near 11th Ave., New York, NY 10019, subway C/E 50th St.
Medicine Show staged the production this past October and November to rave reviews. In Curtain Up, Elizabeth Ahlfors wrote that it was "pure silliness... non-stop frivolity, neatly controlled by director Barbara Vann." Ahlfors said the choreography was "catchy," adding Fifty Million Frenchmen had "those delightful, de-lovely Cole Porter tunes proving it's often worthwhile scanning the decades and dusting off a neglected show." In a Tweet after seeing the show, Will Friedwald of The Wall Street Journal, called it a "spirited production of that Cole Porter gem," and gave a nod to cast member Cari Bell.
In addition to directing, Obie-winner Vann joins Bell in the cast, along with the rest of the original cast: Jarrod Bates, Mark J. Dempsey, Beth Griffith, Richard Gross, Michael Levi Harris, Maria Hoffmann, EVan Kaplan, Richard Keyser, Gulshan Mia, Marvin Riggins, and Becca Shimkin. Bob Goldstone is musical director again. He was the pianist for Evita on Broadway and for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Fifty Million Frenchmen was designed to be enormous fun, opening on Broadway just one month after 1929's stock market crash. Ahead of and a reflection of its time, it includes a gay couple and underscores the racism of the era. While staying hilarious, this production does not shy away from any of it. The title refers to a hit song, not by Cole Porter, called Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong. The plot revolves around an American millionaire in Paris who, on a bet, must woo a young woman while pretending to be penniless.
Tickets are $18.00 for general admission, $14.00 for seniors and students. Tickets are available from Smarttix at www.Smarttix.com or (212) 868-4444. Group rates are available by calling the theater directly at (212) 262-4216. For more information, log onto the company's website at www.MedicineShowTheatre.org