FALSETTOS – Begins Thursday January 8th At Theatre Rhinoceros

William Finn’s most popular musical plays through February 8th

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

William Finn’s popular musical FALSETTOS opens this Thursday at THEATRE RHINOCEROS. The show is an amalgamation of Finn’s 1979 IN TROUSERS and later productions of MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS and FALSETTOLAND now referred to as “The Marvin Trilogy”. The story deals with a totally dysfunctional Jewish family during preparations for the Bar Mitsvah of Jason, the 13 year old son of Marvin and Trina. In the middle of it all is Mendel, the family psychiatrist, who is bedding down with the wife while dealing with the husband’s homosexual affair with the younger “Whizzer”. Jason thinks Whizzer is cool and has flat-out stated that there will be no Bar Mitzvah if Whizzer is not included. Across the hall lives a lesbian couple – Cordelia, the kosher caterer in charge, and her partner Charlotte, a doctor who will eventually determine that Whizzer has AIDS. From the opening number “Four Jews In A Room Bitching” through Jason’s “Everyone Hates His Parents”, Trina’s tour-de-force “I’m Breaking Down”, and Marvin’s lament, “What Would I Do” – the show is a complex and richly entertaining journey filled with laughter and tears. Click here to order tickets on-line: FALSETTOS

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FALSETTOS – By William Finn (Music and Lyrics) and James Lapine (Book)

The original production opened in 1992 at the John Golden Theater and grabbed the Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. Theatre Rhino will run its production through February 8th. The show is directed by Hector Correa with musical direction by Mark Hanson. The cast includes Christian Bohm, Leanne Borghesi, Laurie Bushman, Amanda Dolan, Scott Gessford, David Kahawaii, Lia Metz, Christopher M. Nelson, Daisy Neske, Dean Shibuya, and Jacqueline Steager.

Theatre Rhinoceros (John Fisher, Artistic Director), America’s longest running professional queer theatre, develops and produces works of theatre that enlighten, enrich, and explore both the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of the queer community. For more information, visit: THEATRE RHINOCEROS

Click here to order tickets on-line: FALSETTOS

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CDs – IN TROUSERS – MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS & FALSETTOLAND

Add these shows by William Finn to your Musical Theatre Library. Click on the title to order on-line:

IN TROUSERS – First in the series, “The Marvin Trilogy”: 1979 Original Cast recording features Chip Zien, Alison Fraser, Joanna Green, and Mary Testa.
MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS / FALSETTOLAND – Combination CD: March Of The Falsettos (Off-Broadway, 1981); and Falsettoland (Off-Off-Broadway, 1990).
A NEW BRAIN – 1998 Original Cast featuring Malcolm Gets, Penny Fuller, Norm Lewis, Kristin Chenoweth.

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CDs – A NEW BRAIN & THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE – 2005 Original Broadway Cast featuring Rachel Sheinkin, Derrick Baskin, Lisa Howard, Deborah Craig, Jay Reiss, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Dan Fogler, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jose Llana, Sarah Saltzberg.
ELEGIES – A Song Cycle by William Finn; 2003 recording features Carolee Carmello and Betty Buckley.

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See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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