Chestnut Street Playhouse puts on “The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)”

From left to right, Corey Gonzales, Scott Mayfield, Marc Bibeau, Maureen Pollard, and Justin Carroll.  (Audrey Rummel, Chestnut Street Playhouse)
From left to right, Corey Gonzales, Scott Mayfield, Marc Bibeau, Maureen Pollard, and Justin Carroll. (Audrey Rummel, Chestnut Street Playhouse)

A musical about musicals? Yep, that’s the premise of the Chestnut Street Playhouse’s newest production, aptly titled “The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).”

What a "musical about musicals" is might seem a tad confusing at first, sure, but the idea is actually pretty fun and will surely be a treat for those obsessed with all things theater. The simple plotline is about a broke actress who can't pay her rent. But the intriguing aspect is that the musical is split into five acts, each paying homage to and written in the distinctive style of a different theater master.

One act may bring viewers through the Midwestern-inspired world of Rodgers and Hammerstein, for example, while another Stephen Sondheim-inspired act will pull in influences that touch on “Into the Woods,” “Company,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Sunday in the Park.”

The other three acts are inspired by the works of Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and John Kander and Fred Ebb.

First premiering off-Broadway in 2003, the musical was written by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell. Directing Chestnut's rendition is Hunter Parker, while Lisa Foss is overseeing choreography. Playing the lead role of June will be Corey Gonzales, while Marc Bibeau will play leading man, Willy. Other locals in the musical include Justin Carroll and Maureen Pollard.

“The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!),” Chestnut Street Playhouse, 24 Chestnut St., Norwich; opens tonight and runs through Feb. 25; 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; $15-$27; (860) 886-2378; www.chestnutstreetplayhouse.tix.com.

Corey Gonzales and Marc Bibeau perform in “The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)”
Corey Gonzales and Marc Bibeau perform in “The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)”

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