Oh What Fresh Hell is This?

If you recall, back in February, I briefly posted about the flop musical Rockabye Hamlet. The show was a disastrous rock opera which reconceptualized the Bard’s classic at a concert (complete with Ophelia, played by the ever game Beverly d’Angelo strangling herself with a microphone cord). Well, the undead are virtually unstoppable. Much to my surprise and utter amazement I find that the disaster is receiving similar treatment to the other (and far more worthy) 7 performance bomb of 1976, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: a revised concert presentation complete with new title.

The show, now called Something’s Rockin’ in Denmark, (I’m not making this up, you know) will be playing the St. Lawrence Center for the Arts in Toronto this coming weekend for three performances, with composer Cliff Jones culling material from the various productions to create his definitive and final version.

Here is the press release:

One of Broadway’s legendary flops was the 1976 rock opera based on Hamlet.

Now this infamous musical by Cliff Jones will be presented as a staged concert for three exclusive performances in Toronto on July 25-26 at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

Originally commissioned for C.B.C. Radio, KRONBORG: 1582 played at the Charlottetown Festival (Prince Edward Island) to critical acclaim in the summers of 1974 and ’75, followed by a Canadian tour with Brent Carver as Hamlet and Beverly D’Angelo as Ophelia.

Renamed Rockabye Hamlet, and substantially revised under the direction of Gower Champion, it opened on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre Feb 16, 1976, starring Larry Marshall, D’Angelo and Meat Loaf. It played a efw weeks of previews (which composer Jones says were ecstatically received by audeinces) then it opened to 7 out of 7 negative notices. ROCKABYE HAMLET closed a week later.

With new revisions by Jones and re-titled SOMETHING’S ROCKIN’ IN DENMARK, the show then enjoyed a 14-month run in Los Angeles. The musical won twelve Dramalogue Awards (L.A.) and has since been successfully produced many times.

For this new concert staging of SOMETHING’S ROCKIN’ IN DENMARK, Cliff Jones has adapted his script and score, taking the best of all previous productions. He will also direct the show, joined by Lona Davis as musical director and Mimi Woods Doherty as choreographer/assistant director. The cast of 18 features Ted Ambrose, Lisa Bell, Matthew A.C. Campbell, Trevor Covelli, Scott Freethy, Michael Harvey, Laura Higgs and Gerald Isaac.

SOMETHING’S ROCKIN’ IN DENMARK plays Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, is located in downtown Toronto at 27 Front Street East. Tickets are $40 (lower orchestra) and $30 (upper orchestra) and may be reserved by calling the box office at 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754, go online to www.stlc.com

Witness the Toronto re-birth of this wondrous, eclectic musical!

What Were They Thinking…?

Oh kids. This is too awful and hilarious (awfully hilarious…hilariously awful…?) not to share.

“He Got It in the Ear”

Rockabye Hamlet is the notorious flop rock opera adaptation of, yeah, you guessed it. (The setting: a Rock concert). A rare Canadian musical import, the show was originally commissioned for radio under the title Kronberg 1582. With direction from Gower Champion, of all people, it played 7 performances at the Minskoff in 1976 and featured Beverly d’Angelo in her sole Broadway appearance to date as Ophelia. Larry Marshall was Hamlet (fortunately for him, he followed this immediately with the role of Sportin’ Life in the acclaimed ’76 revival of Porgy and Bess) and none other than Meat Loaf played a supporting part as a Priest. This number is how they chose to adapt the famed play within a play. Honeybelle is played by Judy Gibson.

I dare you to listen to the whole thing.