Lost Musicals Kicks Off Sunday, 9 MayDate: 7 May 1999
This Sunday, 9 May, sees the launch of the tenth annual Lost Musicals series, founded and directed by Ian Marshall-Fisher. This year's season, the first in the West End after a long-term residency at the Barbican Centre, comprises semi-staged concert performances of four rarely seen musicals, the first of which, I'd Rather be Right will be performed every Sunday this month as a matinee at the Fortune Theatre.
I'd Rather be Right was first seen on Broadway in 1937, directed by George S Kaufman who also wrote the book with Moss Hart. Set in Central Park on the Fourth of July, it's a satire on an indecisive president - Franklin Delano Roosevelt. No one escapes unscathed in this political send-up. The score, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, includes 'Have You Met Miss Jones?', 'Sweet Sixty Five', 'We're Going to Balance the Budget' and 'Off the Record'.
The original hit production of I'd Rather be Right brought George M Cohan back to Broadway, after a ten year absence, to play FDR. The London cast will feature Kenneth Haigh, the original Jimmy Porter in John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, in the part. Haigh will be joined by Claire Rayner (as FDR's mother), James Vaughan, Stewart Permutt, Harry Landis, Maitland Chandler, Toby Kensett, Stephen McCarthy, Tal Shamir, Zoe Ann Bown, Christopher Key, Jinty Cotton, Zoe Hart, Anna Fracolini, Richard Dempsey, Peter Gale and Myra Sands.
Ian Marshall-Fisher directs, with musical direction by Mark Warman. Since founding the Lost Musicals in 1989, Marshall-Fisher has worked closely with the estates and families of the writers to rediscover and reconstruct the shows. In nine seasons, he has directed 40 musicals.
I'd Rather be Right will play at 3.30 pm on 9, 16, 23 and 30 May at the Fortune Theatre. Other musicals to be staged as part of this year's season, which runs intermittently to 28 November, include 110 Degrees in the Shade, Finian's Rainbow (both at the Fortune Theatre) and Cole Porter's Jubilee (at Her Majesty's Theatre).