A Class Act is an artfully structured memorial musical dramatising Tony Award winning lyricist Edward Kleban’s hilarious, passionate and ultimately heartbreaking journey. Providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how a musical is created and the forces behind its creation, A Class Act retraces the high and low points of Kleban’s amazing career and explores how an artist’s personal life can inspire or interfere with professional pursuits. The show integrates songs (which Stephen Sondheim said he “wished he’d written”) from widely different Kleban projects into the narrative, each number establishing a particular moment of insight and creating a study of a lost era in show business.
In the show, an ensemble of 7 inhabit the colourful gallery of friends and loved ones in Ed’s life including the legendarily acerbic Lehman Engle, the relentlessly peppy Marvin Hamlisch, and Über-creative Michael Bennett.
Fourteen years after his death, one of the theatre’s unsung champions finally got the recognition he always deserved, in this vibrant musical about musicals.
Last performed at the Landor almost 10 years ago, this is a timely revival of a show last described by Mark Shenton as ‘a real-life version of Sondheim and Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along with its similar tale of professional partnerships and friendships spoilt and soiled.’
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