Ten Cents a Dance
by John Doyle, Richard Rogers & Lorenz Hart
directed by John Doyle
originally produced at Williamstown Theatre Festival,
August 11, 2011
through August 28, 2011
Featuring over 30 timeless tunes from the Rodgers and Hart songbook, Ten Cents a Dance embraces the era of the “taxi dancer” or “dime-a-dance girl” and the smoky, sultry dance halls and nightclubs of the 1930s. The action takes place in an evocative cabaret setting, where a piano-playing male songwriter (Johnny) finds himself surrounded and confronted by five women, their ages ranging from mid-twenties to late middle age. They are all called Miss Jones and portray a chorus girl, Johnny’s true love, at different stages of her life. Along with Johnny, the five Miss Joneses perform both solo and in unison while also forming the onstage band, alternating vocals with duties on an array of instruments. Through an unbroken succession of unforgettably melodic, wittily literate numbers – including classics like “Manhattan,” “Blue Moon,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” – director/conceiver John Doyle weaves a universal tale of love lost and found.
Ten Cents a Dance celebrates the extraordinary songs of two American treasures, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, in the context of a new, romantic musical devised by the innovative John Doyle. It is widely acknowledged that the large majority of Rodgers and Hart musicals, while filled with unforgettable songs, have all-too-forgettable books. As such, they are rarely, if ever, produced. Ten Cents a Dance provides a modern dramatic vehicle that allows these timeless songs to speak for themselves. Playing first at Williamstown, and then the McCarter Theater in Princeton, we hope this musical goes on to have a long life and offer audiences around the nation a chance to rediscover these great musical theater songs.
John Doyle is applying his signature style of having all six performers also function as the band for the show; they will be onstage singing as well as playing a variety of instruments. The Edgerton Award gives us the chance to add an extra week of rehearsal with the entire creative team, which is very necessary considering the actors not only have to learn and stage brand new arrangements of over 30 songs, but also learn how to play them on piano, bass, drums, saxophone, and much more.
Director: John Doyle
Set Design: Scott Pask
Lighting Design: Jane Cox
Sound Design: Dan Moses Schrier
Costume Design: Anne Hould-Ward
Musical Director/Arranger: Mary Mitchell Campbell
Cast: Malcom Gets, Donna McKechnie, Diana DiMarzio, Jessica Wright