Minsky’s has a book by Martin, music by Charles Strouse (Annie, Bye-Bye Birdie) and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (Jelly’s Last Jam). Set in the burlesque world of New York City in the 1930s and loosely based on the 1968 Bud Yorkin-Norman Lear film The Night They Raided Minsky’s, the plot follows Billy Minsky as he struggles to keep his burlesque house open during the Great Depression. Lavish and rowdy, the show boasts huge dance numbers, skimpy costumes and 22 show tunes.
Despite winning five 2006 Tony Awards for its Broadway production, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical (co-written by Martin), 1920s pastiche musical The Drowsy Chaperone failed to achieve the same success on this side of the pond. It ran for only two months at the West End’s Novello Theatre where Elaine Paige took the title role in a cast that also featured Summer Strallen and, reprising his Broadway performance, Bob Martin himself as the ‘Man in Chair’ narrator.
Minsky’s originally opened in March this year at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Ahead of London, here have been rumours that it will open on Broadway at the end of 2009.