2 Acts, Book Musical, Rated PG
Original Broadway Version (1959)
This sexy murder mystery involves music halls, cunning disguises, unforgettable songs and a killer on the loose.
Redhead won 5 TONY Awards when it opened in 1959, including Best Musical. Featuring the legendary Gwen Verdon in the title role and marking the directing debut of none other than Bob Fosse, this Golden Age smash features great songs, high-spirited dancing, and a murder mystery, too!
When a young actress is murdered in 1900s London, the enterprising Simpson Sisters' Waxworks installs a tableau of the grisly deed. Muscle man Tom Baxter, the actress' friend, comes to complain, and there he meets Essie Whimple, a plain girl with a hyperactive imagination. Smitten with Tom, Essie pretends to have been attacked by the murderer, as well, and hijinks ensue - complete with cunning disguises, spine-tingling chases, and an ill-fated show at the Odeon Musical Hall!
With a large ensemble cast, Redhead has a variety of great roles for a strong chorus, in addition to a star turn for a "triple-threat" lead actress. The winning, Golden Age score featuring toe-tapping melodies by Albert Hague and witty, memorable lyrics by Dorothy Fields paired with the heavy dance component make this show a surefire crowd-pleaser.
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The part of Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, was originally written for Phil Silvers. Both he and Milton Berle turned down the role, leaving Zero Mostel, to create one of the most legendary characters in musical comedy.