"The Musical of Musicals” (the Musical!) is a musical about … musicals. In this hilarious satire of Musical Theatre, one story becomes five delightful musicals, each written in the distinctive style of a different master of the form.
June, an ingénue who can’t pay the rent, is threatened by her evil landlord. Will the handsome leading man come to her rescue? In an evening of variations on a theme, this basic plot is musicalized the way Rodgers and Hammerstein might have envisioned it, taking place in Kansas in August, complete with a Dream Ballet. The story is then done in the style of Stephen Sondheim, featuring the landlord as a tortured, artistic genius who slashes the throats of his tenants in revenge because they don’t appreciate his Art. When presented in the style of Jerry Herman, the story becomes a splashy star vehicle, while the Andrew Lloyd Webber version is a rock musical, with borrowed themes from Puccini. The story is re-told one last time in the style of Kander and Ebb, set in a Cabaret in Chicago.
"REAL WIT, REAL CHARM! TWO SMART WRITERS AND FOUR WINNING PERFORMERS! YOU GET THE PICTURES. IT'S GREAT FUN!" --Margo Jefferson, The New York Times
"WITTY! REFRESHING! JUICILY MERCILESS!" --Michael Feingold, Village Voice
"A GIFT FROM THE MUSICAL THEATER GODS! HIGHLY ENTERTAINING MOMENTS OF UTTER BRILLIANCE!" --Jonathan Frank, Talkin' Broadway
"EXCEEDINGLY CLEVER, EXTREMELY FUNNY! A FROTHY VALENTINE TO THE MUSICAL THEATRE! A DELECTABLE THEATRICAL TREAT! IRRESISITIBLE!" --Andy Propst, American Theatre Web
"SILLY, HILARIOUS! THE GIDDY PARTY ATMOSPHERE NEVER DISSIPATES! IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A MOOD BRIGHTENER, THIS IS THE SHOW!" --David Barbour, Lighting Dimensions
"EXCEEDINGLY SILLY! RELENTLESSLY SMART!" --David Kennerley, Gay City News
"CLEVER, HILARIOUS, CLASSY, INTELLIGENT! WIT ABOUNDS IN THIS AFFECTIONATE SPOOF OF LEADING BROADWAY COMPOSERS! FOUR MERRY, VERSATILE PERFORMERS!" --William Wolf, Wolf Entertainment Guide
"A REAL AUDIENCE PLEASER! A FABULOUS TIME! DO DROP IN ON THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS!" --Peter Filichia, TheaterMania.com
Leslie Castay is thrilled to be returning to the New Orleans stage after moving “home” with her husband and two daughters in August 2005 from living the last 19 years in New York City. (Nice timing, huh?) Leslie was stand-by for the original Off-Broadway production of Musical of Musicalsat the York Theatre. While in New York she performed extensively On, Off and (sometimes) very off-Broadway.She “cleaned up” on Broadway in Beauty andthe Beast as Babette, (the French maid/feather duster) as well creating the role in the original National Tour (playing the Saenger Theatre in ’96).She also appeared on Broadway in Guys and Dolls (performing Sarah Brown), 3Penny Opera (Starring Sting), and 42nd Street. She’s been in National tours of Cats (Jellylorum), also at the Saenger, and Annie (Grace Farrell).Other New York credits include Off-Broadway in City Center Encores’ Do Re Me (starring Nathan Lane—also cast recording), ThePrince and the Pauper (Lamb’s Theatre), Esmeralda in Hunchback of Notre Dame (composed by renowned concert pianist Byron Janis), Lust (John Houseman Theatre) and as soloist at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops (Skitch Henderson conducting).She’s had starring roles in regional productions around the country of Steel Magnolias, Breaking Legs, South Pacific, Intothe Woods, and many others.For Tulane Summer Lyric, she has starred in productions of My Fair Lady, Carousel, and Camelot.Television credits include day players on Guiding Light, One Life to Live, AnotherWorld and numerous national commercials, most infamously being the lady “blowing up with gas” in a movie theatre for Gas-x! Leslie dedicates her performance to the memory of original Musical of Musical cast member, Lovette George, to whose guidance, spirit, friendship, and talent she is most indebted.
Craig Fols A member of the original New York cast of MUSICAL OF MUSICALS, and a veteran of over 500 performances of the show off-Broadway, Craig Fols is delighted to be bringing his MOM characters to his favorite American city, New Orleans. His involvement with the show began with early readings, continued through three New York openings and the original cast album, and eventually gave him the chance to perform for--and meet--many of his musical theatre heroes: Harold Prince, Carol Channing, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Kander and Ebb, among others. And now the adventure continues. In addition to his performing career, Craig is also a playwright and lyricist: his first play BUCK SIMPLE was published in THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT PLAYS, and he is currently enrolled as a lyricist in the BMI Workshop where he is writing a show about--what else?--New Orleans. As always, he dedicates his performance in THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS to the memory of his late mother, Jean. Love to Lovette.
Elizabeth Argus is an award-winning singer, dancer, actress, choreographer, director, teacher, and commercial talent, who has spent some 20 years appearing in New Orleans in many of the roles and shows so lovingly spoofed in The Musical of Musicals.Miss Argus has performed with such companies as Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, the True Brew Theatre, Southern Repertory Theatre, the Jefferson Performing Arts Society, the Loyola Ballet, Tulane’s Patchwork Players, the Utah Shakespeare Company, Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble, and as a featured soloist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. For TMOM, Liz is delighted to rejoin Brandt Blocker, with whom she worked in last winter’sA Year with Frog and Toad, one of the area’s first post-Katrina musicals. TMOM also marks Liz’s joyous reunion with Leslie Castay, with whom she shared a real nice clambake in a Summer Lyric Theatre production of Carousel, many Junes and many babies ago. Miss Argus is currently directing a new music program at Cabrini High School, and gardenin’ and cookin’ for her little family in Bucktown.
Christopher Bentivegna, a native of New Jersey, is appearing in his third production here in New Orleans after having appeared in Delgado's production of Urinetown: The Musical as Officer Lockstock and the recent Brandt Blocker Presents critically acclaimed production of TheAll Night Strut at Southern Rep. Professional credits in New York and New Jersey include Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), Victor/Victoria (Andre Cassell), Evita (Magaldi), and Li'l Abner (Senator Fogbound). Other favorite roles include Falsettos (Marvin), Secret Garden (Archibald), Chess (Freddie), Evita (Juan Peron), Tommy (Lover/Specialist), Forever Plaid (Francis), My Fair Lady (Freddy), Mame (Older Patrick), two different productions of his favorite musical-- Into the Woods (Cinderella's Prince-Wolf/Rapunzel's Prince), and the original workshop of the Broadway bound production of Frankenstein: The Musical (The Creature). Christopher received his Bachelor's of Music degree from the Johns Hopkins University: Peabody Conservatory of Music. He is currently working as the director of a local community center where he specializes in providing arts programming to youth.