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Hank Azaria, Megan Hilty in Workshop of Goodspeed's New 'The Honeymooners' Musical

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Sep 24, 2014 11:11 AM EDT

Jackie Gleason not only created and starred in The Honeymooners, he also wrote the theme song, so were he still with us he might have been pleased to learn that a new musical based on his hit CBS sitcom is holding a workshop performance November 7 in New York City, starring Michael McGrath as Ralph Kramden, The Simpsons' Hank Azaria as Ed Norton, Leslie Kritzer as Alice Kramden and Smash's Megan Hilty as Trixie Norton.

Produced by Goodspeed Musicals in association with Jeffrey Finn Productions, the world premiere musical has a book by veteran TV writers and producers Dusty Kay (Entourage, Roseanne) and Bill Nuss (NCIS, 21 Jump Street) and a score by Stephen Weiner and Peter Mills (Iron Curtain). The Honeymooners is directed by John Rando (Broadway's new On the Town revival, Urinetown, A Christmas Story) with choreography by Joshua Bergasse (On the Town, Emmy winner for Smash).

The star-studded cast is led by Michael McGrath (fresh off his Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics awards for Nice Work If You Can Get It) as the hard-luck, get-rich-quick-scheming bus driver Ralph Kramden. Hank Azaria, who appeared on Broadway in The Farnsworth Invention and received a Tony Award for his performance in Spamalot but is best known for voicing multiple characters on The Simpsons, plays Ed Norton.

Leslie Kritzer plays Ralph's long-suffering but never cowed wife Alice. Kritzer's Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, A Catered Affair (Drama Desk Nomination), Legally Blonde and Hairspray. Megan Hilty (Trixie Norton) is best known from television's Smash, but has Broadway credits including 9 to 5 and Wicked. The complete workshop cast will be announced at a later date.

The TV series The Honeymooners has never been off the air in more than 60 years, many of its situations having attained iconic status in the pantheon of TV comedy. The new musical posits that Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, still shooting for the moon, shock their wives by winning a jingle contest and suddenly find themselves comic Mad Men "torn between success and friendship."

Invite-only presentations are scheduled for Friday, November 7 at New 42nd Street Studios.

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TagsHoneymooners, Megan Hilty, Leslie Kritzer, Hank Azaria, The Simpson's, Michael McGrath, Musical, musical theater

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