Thursday, May 26, 2011

Betty Garrett Tribute - Something For the Boys - at Theatre West

Earlier this year, Theatre West mourned the loss of its co-founder, Betty Garrett, who passed away at age 91 on February 12. She starred on Broadway (thirteen shows), was one of the great MGM movie musical stars, was a TV series regular on All in the Family (for which she won a Golden Globe) and Laverne and Shirley. She devoted herself to humanitarian causes.

At Theatre West, she memorably performed n many shows, directed and, importantly, moderated its Musical Comedy workshop for decades, instructing generations of artists in the proper way to perform for musical theatre audiences.

Betty received many honors: the Queen of the Angels Award from L.A. Weekly, career achievement awards from the L.A. Drama Critics Circle, the Valley Theatre League, and the Ovation Awards.

It’s now the turn of her own beloved Theatre West to honor her. On Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm there will be a concert reading of Something For The Boys, Betty’s first Broadway musical from 1943, in which she co-starred with Ethel Merman. The June 19 performance is with the full permission of and encouragement from the Estates of Cole Porter (music and lyrics) and Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields (book).

The cast, directed by Brian O'Halloran, includes some of Theatre West’s best-known performers as well as generations of artists: Andrew Parks, son of Betty Garrett; her grand-daughter, Madison Claire Parks (who will play Betty’s part and sing the song Cole Porter wrote for her, “I’m in Love With a Soldier Boy”); Beau Bridges; his daughter, Emily Bridges; Caitlin Gallogly and Edward Z. Gallogly (daughter and son of Theatre West executive director John Gallogly); Barbara Mallory; her son Elliot Schwartz; Lee Meriwether; Barbara Minkus; Devra Korwin; Anthony Gruppuso; David P. Johnson; Daniel Keough; Andre Landzaat; Robert W. Laur; and Laura Wolfe.

The musical revolves around three cousins who inherit a tract of land near a Texas army base. They contemplate using their new estate for a hotel when one of them comes up with an invention to help the war effort….Something for the Boys, if only the General will take them up on it. One of them has also fallen for a famous band leader now in uniform at the army base, although he’s already engaged to a senator’s obnoxious daughter. Hijinks ensue.

This is the first in a projected series of annual musical presentations by Theatre West in memory of Betty Garrett.

Proceeds from the event will support the continuing work of the Betty Garrett Musical Comedy Workshop. The June 19 event is underwritten in part by the Lloyd E. Rigler- Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, with support from Norman and Lyn Lear.

Tickets are $35 general admission, and $50 for Premium Seating (first five rows, center). Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, in Los Angeles, CA 90068. There is free parking across the street.

For reservations call 323-851-7977 or go online at

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