‘Late Night Comic’ plays through this Saturday at JBK Theatre at Frederick Community College

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Theatre FCC is proud to present the musical Late Nite Comic, the first production of this show since it closed on Broadway almost 25 years ago. Written by Allan Knee with music and lyrics by Brian Gari, Late Nite Comic tells the (as Gari admits, semi-autobiographical) story of stand-up comedian David Ackerman and his on-again, off-again relationship with dancer Gabrielle.

Andrew McClean (David) and Ashley Snow (Gabrielle) in FCC Theatre's "Late Nite Comic." Photo by DC Cathro.

The show takes place in New York City in the 1980s and was first presented on Broadway in 1987. The road to Broadway was rocky to say the least, and the show lasted only 4 performances, but it left behind quite a legacy, thanks to Gari’s dedication and determination. There are two recordings of the show, as well as a book penned by Gari about the show’s development and demise, entitled We Bombed in New London.
Director David Norman, Head Technician at FCC’s Jack B. Kussmaul Theatre, chose the show not only because of it’s colorful history, but because he has a genuine affinity for the (as he puts it) undervalued shows of musical theatre. While searching for the next musical for the college to produce, he decided to look into the possibility of producing Late Nite Comic and contacted composer Brian Gari on Facebook. The two of them messaged and chatted about the show, and when David asked Brian if the show had ever been done in the DC Metropolitan area, he was surprised to find that the show hadn’t had ANY productions since the original Broadway run! That sealed the deal.

This isn’t the first time that David Norman has revived a show after the Broadway closing. He is the second director in the world to mount a production of the 1950’s musical Whoop-Up, which was revived by Opening Doors Theatre Company in New York City a couple years ago. Whoop-Up ran 56 performances in 1958. Norman considers it an honor to be able to revive shows such as these from relative obscurity, and hopes to mount more of these types of productions in the near future, as he plans to start his own theatre company for just such a purpose. He states “Little known gems like these need to be treasured and given another opportunity, and maybe some vindication.” He’s referring to the infamous NYC critics, who sometimes savage a show so completely that it shuts down mere days later, whether public opinion is positive or not.

Composer Brian Gari will be attending all performances and will be available to answer questions and talk about the show and it’s history. CD’s and the book We Bombed in New London will be available for sale at the theatre, and he will personally autograph them as well.

Late Nite Comic runs this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 5, 6, and 7, 2012, at the JBK Theatre on the campus of Frederick Community College. All shows begin at 8pm and tickets are available at the door, cash or check only please. Book by Allan Knee, Music & Lyrics by Brian Gari. Directed by David Norman, Musical Direction by Jonas Dawson, Choreography by Christine Galante. For information call (301) 846-2568. Here are directions.


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