Friday, May 15, 2015

Flashback Friday: 15 Seasons Ago: The Full Monty

There are a lot of similarities between the 2000 - 2001 Broadway season and the one just ended.  There are similar performers and creative types aplenty.  And it's fun to look back at where some of my favorites were in their careers 15 years ago, as well as seeing where some of today's stars got their start.

The first musical I'll look at was my personal favorite of the season, The Full Monty.  I still maintain that, despite the record-breaking number of Tonys The Producers won, history will show that the superior show was, in fact, Monty.

35 previews, 770 performances at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre

Stars at the time:
Andre De Shields and Kathleen Freeman
Emily Skinner and Annie Golden (center) and the ladies
  • Emily Skinner - (Vicki) had Jekyll and Hyde, Side Show (Tony nominee), and James Joyce's The Dead on her resume
  • Andre De Shields - ("Horse") had a lengthy Broadway career prior, including starring as the original Wiz in The Wiz, and Ain't Misbehavin'
  • Kathleen Freeman - (Jeanette) probably most famous for many TV roles including appearances on The Lucy Show, and films including Singin' in the Rain.
  • Jane Connell - (Jeanette) among her most famous Broadway roles were Gooch in Mame and one of the Countesses in Dear World; Connell joined the show first as a replacement during Freeman's vacation, and then again just about a month later following Freeman's unexpected passing
  • Annie Golden - (Georgie) always a Broadway favorite, she had appeared in the revivals of Hair and On the Town, as well as Leader of the Pack

Stars were born:
Patrick Wilson (center) and the guys
  • Heidi Blickenstaff  (Susan) made her Broadway debut in the show as a replacement/understudy
  • James Moye made his Broadway debut in the show as replacement stripper Teddy Slaugher
  • David Yazbeck (Composer-Lyricist) made his Broadway debut as composer-lyricist with the score for Monty; it was the first of three consecutive Tony nominations he's received for full scores 
  • Patrick Wilson - (Jerry) Although not his debut, The Full Monty pretty much marked the beginning of his Broadway and subsequent TV career with a much-deserved Tony nomination.

The 2015 Connection:
Heidi Blickenstaff in Something Rotten!
Patrick Wilson, John Ellison Conlee and Denis Jones
in The Full Monty
  • Terrence McNally (Book - Tony nomination) is a Tony nominee for his book for The Visit.
  • John Ellison Conlee (Dave - Tony nomination) is the proud father (Celia Keen-Bolger, his wife, is the mother) of future Broadway star William Emmet Conlee, born April 29, 2015.
  • Jason  Danieley (Malcolm) is a co-star in The Visit.
  • Denis Jones (Buddy "Keno" Walsh) choreographed Honeymoon in Vegas.
  • Heidi Blickenstaff (Susan) is a co-star in Something Rotten!
  • James Moye (Teddy) famously went on for an ailing Peter Gallagher in On the Twentieth Century.
  • David Yazbeck (Composer-Lyricist) wrote the original music for Fish in the Dark.
  • Howell Binkley (Lighting) designed the lighting for Honeymoon in Vegas, Doctor Zhivago and Hamilton.

Next week: A look back at A Class Act and Jane Eyre.


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