My Favorite Year
by Flaherty and Ahrens, 4-14 June 2008

                                                      

An eager young man in his mid-twenties appears standing alone in a single white light on an empty stage. He tells us that his name is Benjy Stone, and he's going to tell us about his favorite year. Not his best year or the year he had his most success, but his favorite year. 1954 was the year he made the jump to freshman writer on TVs hottest show: The King Kaiser Comedy Cavalcade which went on the air every Saturday night at 8PM - live!

                                                    

Suddenly, a stage manager's voice yells "five minutes" and we are transformed into Studio 6B of the RCA Building five minutes before airtime, complete with screaming producers, flying costumes, last minute rehearsals, etc. It is here that we meet the characters for the rest of the play: King Kaiser, star of Comedy Cavalcade; Sy Benson, head writer; Alice Miller and Herb Lee, two other writers; K.C. Downing, assistant to the producer and just about anybody else you can imagine who might be involved in the pre-production of a live TV show. The stage is set.

Benjy is our main character who takes part in the action as well as acting as a narrator for the story - one week in the life of the characters working on the TV show. Benjy has been assigned the daunting task of baby-sitting veteran Hollywood swashbuckler Alan Swann while he's doing a live guest appearance on the show. The effort to keep the reckless Swann off the booze and out of the papers during the rehearsal week nearly drives Benjy to the brink. At the same time he is struggling with his unsuccessful romance with KC, the pretty assistant who is herself struggling with being the only unfunny person in the studio. Along the way we also meet Benjy’s mother Belle May Steinberg Carroca, a substantial beacon of Brooklyn society, his stepfather Rookie Carroca, a former bantam weight boxing champion and Uncle Morty and Aunt Sadie. As the story unfolds Benjy is given an unexpected glimpse into Swann's broken heart that teaches him about human frailty, tragedy, comedy, love and about what made 1954 his favorite year.

My Favorite Year is an unashamedly feel good musical comedy with a strong book that is very funny, nostalgic and also very moving. It has a bright, tuneful contemporary score and is sure to put a smile on your lips and a tear in your eye.

“A sweet, snappy and altogether beguiling musical comedy... An exceptionally strong book... and a stylish, smart score that pays homage to the big Broadway songs of 35 years ago."

Cast List

Benjy Stone - Mark Emmett
King Kaiser - Craig Karpel
Sy Benson - Mickey Killianey
Alice Miller - Susan Booth
Herb Lee - James Franey
KC Downing - Kirra Young
Daisy - Rebecca Weymouth
Alan Swann - James Newall
Belle May Steinberg Carroca - Maria Waters
Rookie Carroca - Pete Bryans
Tess - Sara Dunn
Uncle Morty - Stephen Beeny
Aunt Sadie - Carla Moran
Ensemble:

Pip Deppele
Joel Hutchings
Trevor Harvey
Tim Garrad
Sarah Lalin
Michelle Brown
Emma Butler, Mandi Sterling
Annemarie Littlewood
Olga-Marie Pratt.


Director- Andrew Overin
Musical Director - Matthew Gould
Choreographer - Gayle Rogers

Producer – Alex Sandercock

              



My Favorite Year, book by Joseph Dougherty, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn
Bridewell Theatre
Bride Lade, off Fleet Street
London, EC4Y 8EQ

4-14 June at 7.30pm, matinee on 7 June at 3pm, gala night 7 June


Based on the Motion Picture
MY FAVORITE YEAR
Courtesy of Turner Entertainment Co.