Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble, one of New York's longest-running experimental theatres, opens its production of FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMAN next month, with music and lyrics by the great Cole Porter and book by Herbert Fields. The production officially opens tonight, Oct. 27 and closes on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Performances are scheduled for Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m. There are no performances on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays. The theatre is located at 549 W. 52nd Street, 3rd Floor, near 11th Ave., subway C/E 50th St.
Medicine Show artistic director Obie-award winner Barbara Vann will appear in and directs the production. Other cast members are Jarrod Bates, Cari Bell, Robert Bellsey, Mark J. Dempsey, Beth Griffith, Richard Gross, Michael Levi Harris, Renee Hermiz, Maria Hoffmann, EVan Kaplan, Richard Keyser, Gulshan Mia, Marvin Riggins, Becca Shimkin. Andrew Sotomayor is musical director, conducting a live band including Jake Lloyd on keyboards.
This was Cole Porter's first successful full-length score. It includes hits like You Do Something to Me, You've Got That Thing and Find Me a Primitive Man. The show originally opened at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway in November 1929, just one month after the stock market crash, and was designed to be enormous fun. At the time, fellow great song writer Irving Berlin called it, "The best musical comedy I've seen in years." Medicine Show staged a version back in 1983, which reviewers said was "highly effective" filled with "antic cheerfulness" and "knocking over wisecracks." The title is a reference to a hit, not by Cole Porter, called Fifty Million Frenchman Can't Be Wrong. The plot revolves around the tale of an ex-pat American millionaire in Paris who, on a bet, must woo a young woman he adores while pretending to be penniless.
Medicine Show's most recent Cole Porter musical, last season's Paris, garnered rave reviews. Tickets are priced at $18.00 for general admission, $14.00 for seniors and students. They are available from Smarttix at www.Smarttix.com or (212) 868-4444. For more information, log onto the company's website at www.MedicineShowTheatre.org.