Broadway tryout joins 3 other jazzy shows on Performing Arts bill

April 15, 1993|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic

Four musicals with a strong jazz orientation -- including a Broadway tryout -- will highlight the 1993-1994 season at the Baltimore Center for the Performing Arts.

The tryout, "Hoagy & Bix," will play an exclusive pre-Broadway engagement at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in February, managing director Hope Quackenbush announced yesterday.

The new musical, described by Quackenbush as a scripted show and not a revue, is set in New Orleans and Chicago.

It focuses on Hoagy Carmichael -- composer of such chestnuts as "Star Dust" and "Georgia on My Mind" -- and his close friend, cornetist Bix Biederbecke.

Produced by Hoagie Carmichael Jr., "Hoagy & Bix" will rehearse at the Mechanic throughout January.

Prior to "Hoagy & Bix," in the fall the Mechanic will present "Five GuysNamed Moe," a celebration of the originator of "jump blues," as 1940s bandleader Louis Jordan dubbed his style.

In addition, the season's musicals include the previously announced "Guys and Dolls" and "Crazy for You," winners of 1992 Tony Awards for best revival and best musical, respectively. Both shows will be presented at the Lyric Opera House in the spring.

Also in the spring, the Mechanic will host Wendy Wasserstein's newest Broadway hit, "The Sisters Rosensweig." Set in London, this latest work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Heidi Chronicles" is about three middle-aged American sisters.

Another straight play, scheduled for November, has yet to be announced. It will replace the production of "The Lion of Winter" that was postponed this season and has now been canceled.

These subscription shows join the already announced non-subscriptionattraction -- the National Theatre of Britain's acclaimed production of Alan Bennett's "The Madness of George III," which will open the season at the Mechanic from Oct. 12 to 31.

Assessing the 1993-1994 offerings, Quackenbush said, "The bulk the season includes shows that are on Broadway right now. You can't get any newer than that -- except, of course, a tryout. That's the adrenalin factor."

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