Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Musical Theater Project to feature the comedy of musical theater

What do “Avenue Q,” “Spamalot,” “Something Rotten” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum?” have in common?  They are all American Musical Theater comedies, meant to entertain and evoke laughter.

In addition to entire shows, there are songs within musicals that are intended for pure enjoyment.  “Springtime for Hitler” in “The Producers,” “Make an Omelette” in “Something Rotten,” “Putting on the Ritz” in “Young Frankenstein,” and “When You’re an Addams” from “The Addams Family,” come to mind.

Interested in learning more about the outrageous in musicals? To find out why we laugh at the performances or the material itself?

What better source to learn about the wonder of musicals than from The Musical Theater Project which was founded in 2000, and built on the principal that “Americans have an enduring love affair with Broadway and Hollywood musicals. It’s our very own art form, combining song and dance to express what we can be at our best.”

It is the purpose of Bill Rudman, the organization’s founder, and his merry bunch of entertainers, to “create personal connections with the songs, characters and themes of the American musical, document the lives of important American musical theater artists, explore the connections between the musical and the rich diversity of the American experience, and examine the relevance of musical theater in contemporary society.”

For this concert, TMTP will feature live performances and video clips as they present “Just for Laughs Comedy Songs from Musicals.” You’ll learn how, when we are exposed to comedy “we connect more deeply with our dreams, joys and frustrations. In short, our laughter brings us closer to ourselves.” 

The concert, which will be hosted by Rudman and Nancy Maier, will explore great comedy songs going back as far as Eddie Cantor's "Makin' Whoopee" (1928) and as far forward as John Cullum's "Don't Be the Bunny," written 83 years later for “Urinetown,” while featuring singers Douglas F. Bailey II, Ursula Cataan and Sheri Gross

The concerts will be @ The Solon Center for the Arts on November 14 @ 7 pm.  For tickets call 800-838-3006 or go on-line to  A second performance will be at 3 pm on November 18 in the Hanna Theatre in Playhouse Square.  For tickets call 216-241-6000 or go on-line to