Rubicon Theatre Company has announced the cast and creative team for the World Premiere of THE BEST IS YET TO COME: THE MUSIC OF Cy Coleman, which began previews July 9 at Rubicon's intimate 200-seat home at 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District. The show continues Wednesdays through Sundays through August 2, 2009. The official press opening is Sunday, July 19 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., with a "Rat Pack"-themed post-show party with the cast and Coleman family and friends after the evening performance.
Devised and directed by Tony Award-winner David Zippel (City of Angels), The Best is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman is produced by Rubicon Theatre Company and MICHAEL JACKOWITZ in association with David Elzer and Barbara Meister. Title sponsors are Barbara Meister - BARBER AUTOMOTIVE and LORETTA AND MIKE MEREWETHER. Musical Direction is by Billy Stritch; orchestrations are by Don Sebesky; and Lorin Latarro serves as Choreographer. Performances are Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., with matinees on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Due to strong presale, Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. have been added for the latter part of the run with special pricing for groups of 12 or more. For tickets, go to www.rubicontheatre.org., or call (805) 667-2900 to charge by phone.
In a career spanning seven decades, Cy Coleman created a glittering string of pop standards made famous by the likes of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand. He also wrote literally hundreds of hits for the musical theatre, which were performed in shows including City of Angels, Sweet Charity, Barnum, The Life, Little Me and Will Rogers Follies.
The Best is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman is an elegant evening of songs performed by a stellar cast, including David Burnham (The Light in the Piazza and Wicked on Broadway), Jason Graae (Grand Night for Singing, Falsettos and Forever Plaid on and off Broadway), Sally Mayes (She Loves Me at Roundabout and Urban Cowboy in New York), Julia Murney (Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway), Billy Stritch (42nd Street, Liza Minelli's Musical Director) and Lillias White (The Life, Dreamgirls on Broadway). Both Mayes and White made their Broadway debuts in Coleman shows. These powerhouse vocalists are backed by an onstage eight-piece swing band.
"The structure of the show is similar to that of The World Goes 'Round or Starting Here, Starting Now," says Zippel. The show has no dialogue but has connective staging. It uses the personality of the performers and the sequence of the songs to create a context for each number and continuity."
"For instance," continues Zippel, "the opening number is ‘The Best is Yet to Come' in which each performer enters trying to top the prior one. ‘Come the day you're mine,' refers to the audience. In addition to highlights from Coleman's musicals and pop standards (sung as solos and in various combinations by the performers), the show also includes a few surprises - unpublishEd Coleman works, and ends with a ‘megamix' medley of Cy songs we just couldn't live without. The show will run approximately 85 minutes without intermission."
The germination for the piece began when Coleman, Larry Gelbart and Zippel were working together on City of Angels. One evening after a rehearsal, Zippel askEd Coleman why no revue of his works existed. Coleman quipped, "That's for when I'm gone."