Thursday, December 17, 2009
Rothschilds Back on Broadway
The Miami Herald reports that Miami producer and former director of Miami's Coconut Grove Playhouse, Arnold Mittelman, who ran Miami's Coconut Grove Playhouse from 1985 until it's closing in 2006 is planning the first Broadway revival of The Rothschilds, a 1970 musical written by Sherman Yellen and featuring a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.
Based on The Rothschilds by Frederic Morton, it tells of the rise of the Rothschild family from humble beginnings in Germany, to their founding of their financial empire and growing political influence under the guidance of patriarch Mayer Rothschild, to their assistance in funding Napoleon's defeat, and how they secure a declaration of rights for European Jews in the midst of an oppressive era. The Rothschilds was the last collaboration between Bock and Harnick. The show won a Tony Award for its original star Hal Linden,
Mittelman presented the show at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in April 1995. The Herald reports that he intends to hire that version's director, Jeffrey B. Moss, to helm the Broadway installment. Financing is allegedly in place, however, no venue has been secured. Mittelman has indicated that he plans to first open the new production outside of New York, with the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and The Old Globe being top options. He aspires to bring the production into New York in 2010 or 2011.
The production will have a capitalization of $7 million.
"I believe it's a story that has extraordinary relevance, and that it can be an inspiration,' Mittelman said of the endeavor.
As a producer, Mittelman is responsible for more than 200 ethnically diverse plays, musicals, educational and special events performed on two stages during his 21-year tenure at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. These plays and musicals were highlighted by 28 World or American premieres. Forty Playhouse productions, featuring some of the industry's greatest theatrical talents and supported by innovative partnerships between the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors, transferred directly to Broadway, off-Broadway, toured, or went on to other national and international venues. This body of work includes three Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights directing their own work for the first time in a major theatrical production: Edward Albee - Seascape; David Auburn - Proof; and Nilo Cruz - Anna In the Tropics. Musical legends Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman, Jimmy Buffett, John Kander and Fred Ebb were in residence at The Playhouse to develop world premiere productions. The Coconut Grove Playhouse has also been honored by the participation of librettist/writers Herman Wouk, Alfred Uhry, Jerome Weidman, Terrence McNally and Mario Vargas Llosa. Numerous Tony Award winning actors, directors, choreographers and designers worked with Mr.Mittelman. In addition, while at The Playhouse he oversaw the creation of an education program that included an ongoing professionally taught theatrical training curriculum, internships, scholarships and in-school touring program that commissioned and produced 35 socially relevant plays reaching thousands of children.