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ADRIFT IN MACAO

Following its successful run at New York’s Primary Stages January – March 2007, ADRIFT IN MACAO opens at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston in early January 2008.

Adrift in Macao (From the Primary Stages web site)

Receiving its New York premiere is the hilarious and irreverent new film noir musical parody, Adrift in Macao with book and lyrics by Christopher Durang (Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Marriage of Bette and Boo) and music by Peter Melnick. Mixing together farce, camp, and tongue-in-cheek wit, Adrift in Macao spins the tale of five quirky characters stranded in a Casablanca-like locale in the Far East.   Complete with intrigue, silliness and a playfully melodic score, it is the newest work from a gifted theater composer and  one  of  America's  funniest playwrights

Adrift in Macao is coming to New York in February 2007 as part of Primary Stages’ 2006-2007 season. The play completed a successful run at the Philadelphia Theatre Company in November 2005, for which it received six Barrymore Award nominations, including Peter Melnick for Outstanding Original Music, and the Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play.

Cast  (Primary Stages)

  • Rachel deBenedet - Lureena
  • Alan Campbell - Mitch
  • Will Swenson - Rick Shaw
  • Michele Ragusa - Corinna
  • Orville Mendoza - Tempura
  • Elisa Van Duyne - Trenchcoat Chorus
  • Jonathan Rayson - Trenchcoat Chorus

CREDITS

Costumes by Willa Kim
Set Design by Tom Lynch
Orchestrations by Michael Starobin
Musical Direction by Fred Lassen
Choreography by Christopher Gatelli
Directed by Sheryl Kaller

Reviews from the
2007 Primary Stages production
Talkingbroadway.com
Broadwayworld.com
Adrift in Macao
Read The Article Here

Adrift in Macao: Everybody Goes To Rick Shaw's
Read The Article Here

by Matthew Murray by Michael Dale
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID ABOUT COMPOSER PETER MELNICK AND HIS NEW MUSICAL ADRIFT IN MACAO. click on the writer for details...
>> MICHAEL DALE, BROADWAYWORLD.COM
Adrift in Macao, the uproarious new pocket-sized musical Primary Stages has planted into 59E59 Theatres.  With a drop-dead funny book and shamefully silly lyrics by Christopher Durang and lethally catchy music by PETER MELNICK, Adrift in Macao lovingly parodies the Hollywood film noir classics of the 1940’s and 50’s that featured hardened dames, shady gentlemen and really dim lighting.  MELNICK’S music mixes dark film scoring with peppy showtune.  The exceedingly hummable title song is only topped by a final number that gleefully pounds its memorable tune into our heads.

>> MARILYN STASIO, VARIETY
Adrift in Macao is so delicious, written by Durang and his well-matched composer, PETER MELNICK.  As movie cliches go, it's hard to top show's opening number, "In a Foreign City," in which a glamorous dame named Lureena (Rachel De Benedet, channeling Rita Hayworth) finds herself stranded on the dock with no luggage and no dough -- nothing but the slinky purple gown on her back -- and instantly lands a job as a singer at Rick's place.  More cliches fly thick and fast, the absurdity of them smartly captured by MELNICK’S bright, nontaxing compositions and Durang's drolly inane lyrics.

>> MATTHEW MURRAY, TALKIN’ BROADWAY.COM
And there are of course those songs, unusually well-composed for any show that could get by with far less.  in the smoke-and fog-steeped "In a Foreign City" to a dueling duet for Lureena and Corinna in "Pretty Moon Over Macao" and "Mambo Malaysian," MELNICK demonstrates an affinity for melody and old-fashioned showmanship that link him to his grandfather, Richard Rodgers, more readily than his acclaimed cousin, Adam Guettel. The title song ends as an energetic toe-tapper, while the trench coat-strewn "The Chase" perfectly particularizes the genre, and de Benedet's "So Long" is a belty torch song so on-the-spot smoldering it practically transcends parody to become the real thing.  Finally, there's the finale. I can't remember the last time a song in a parody show lodged itself so completely in my brain, but the nightclubby "Ticky Ticky Tock," which spans several thousand miles and takes in the whole cast (and even the audience in its sing-along closing), is so maddeningly addictive it will apparently require major surgery to forget; I've been humming it for days, and it's shown no signs of releasing me from its grip.

>> CHARLES ISHERWOOD, NEW YORK TIMES
This miniature musical, which boasts a book and lyrics by a major name, Christopher Durang, and pastiche music by PETER MELNICK makes sport of those ludicrous melodramas set in the exotic Orient, wherein Yanks down on their luck fall into one another’s arms and fall prey to the local vices, while the evil-looking denizens smile knowingly and mix up their R’s and L’s.  MR. MELNICK’S music hops effectively among genres, evoking period music from Kurt Weill to big bands.

>> JOHN SIMON, BLOOMBERG
Not since Erasmus's ironic “In Praise of Folly'' (1509) has there been such a tribute to silliness as Adrift in Macao. This musical takeoff on film noir by Christopher Durang (book and lyrics) and PETER MELNICK (music) is as light as a helium balloon and as personable as persiflage gets.  The music manages to be delightful pastiche, the frequently funny book is peppered with puns and the lyrics are always hilarious.

>> LAUREN SNYDER, OFFOFFONLINE.COM
Adrift in Macao, a film noir parody musical created in an inspired alliance between writer/lyricist Christopher Durang and composer PETER MELNICK (grandson of Richard Rodgers), is now enjoying its long-awaited New York premiere Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters. While the caliber of the collaborators could have earned the production a spot on the Great White Way, opening at an intimate Off-Broadway house is a great move for this little show. Adrift in Macao has the music and energy for a Broadway bow.  MELNICK’S music and Durang's lyrics combine in ditties that recall the jazzy/witty numbers from City of Angels. But while Cy Coleman and David Zippel (also working in noir territory) crafted dark-edged, syncopated songs in minor chords for Angels, Melnick and Durang's songs are bright and "majorly" catchy.

>> BARBARA & SCOTT SIEGEL, THEATERMANIA.COM
MELNICK’S music is bouncy and, as it should be here, generically familiar. Durang's lyrics are cute and comically self-aware, sometimes to a fault. Still, the songs are what makes this particular show worth catching.

>> ERIC GRODE, THE NEW YORK SUN
Mr. MELNICK’S jazzy score actually outclasses the efforts of his far better-known lyricist, with the sprightly duet "Sparks" and the piano-bar kiss-off "So Long" standing out.

>> LINDA WINER, NEWSDAY
MELNICK, another composing grandson of Richard Rodgers, has put together a jazzy, smoky early '50s pastiche, with serpentine stretches of saxophone and movie-melodrama melodies that suggest the plaintive masochism of "Town Without Pity."

>> MICHAEL KUCHWARA, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The story never quite goes anywhere, which puts a heavy burden on the melodies of PETER MELNICK, a grandson of the legendary Richard Rodgers. The tunes are pleasant enough and nicely atmospheric, particularly when warbled by the sexy de Benedet, who has a smoky, cigarette voice.  Durang's lyrics occasionally rise to MELNICK’S level.

>> FRANK SCHECK, NEW YORK POST
MELNICK, a grandson of Richard Rodgers (he's Adam Guettel's cousin), has contributed some very catchy melodies to the score, including the title tune and the climactic number and sing-along, "Ticky Ticky Tock," which may take several days to be dislodged from your brain.

>> MICHAEL FEINGOLD, VILLAGE VOICE
A redeeming factor is PETER MELNICK’S lively pastiche music…he can turn out tunes that are now stuck, maddeningly, in my head.

>> MALCOLM JOHNSON, HARTFORD COURANT
The music by PETER MELNICK, another talented grandson of Richard Rodgers, establishes a convincing film-noir mood, with "I Cover the Waterfront" riffs by the small band directed on a balcony by the energetic Fred Lassen, with arrangements by the excellent Michael Starobin.  The title number works a kind of Von Sternbergian spell as delivered by Campbell, Ragusa, De Benedet and Mendoza.

>> ANDY PROPST, AMERICAN THEATRE WEB
Durang's work as lyricist is consistently on target. Sometimes silly, sometimes witty, his words fit into MELNICK’S terrific songs (a series of period-sounding tunes with a contemporary edge) with ease. Audiences may find that it's difficult, in fact, to shake the show's final tune from their ears, and that's as it should be.

>> LEONARD JACOBS, BACKSTAGE
Stop moaning that there's no Broadway revival of City of Angels on the horizon. If you want your film-noir musical-parody fix, don a fedora, button your trench coat, and cast your shadow over Christopher Durang and PETER MELNICK’S fabulously mirthful musical, Adrift in Macao.   PETER MELNICK’S music takes a playfully snickering tack, with occasional echoes of Far East harmonies peppering solid show tunes. (Perhaps it's intentional: MELNICK’S grandfather was The King and I composer Richard Rodgers.) MELNICK finds unexpected musical equivalents to Durang's laughably loopy lyrics.
Adrift in Macao

Buy the CD now!The Premier recording of ADRIFT IN MACAO, featuring the New York cast, is now available on LML Music.



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PATTER FOR THE FLOATING LADY

Patter for the Floating Lady is a one-act musical about a magician who levitates his ex-girlfriend as a means of coming to terms with their failed relationship. Patter, if you haven't guessed from its description, is based on an eponymous one-act comedy by Steve Martin. Bill Russell wrote the book and lyrics for both pieces.


Past Shows:

SEXTET
Extended Dance Work by Twyla Tharp

CHINESE CABARET
Book by Paul Warner
Lyrics by Peter Melnick | LOS ANGELES FESTIVAL, 1993