Raunchy Little Musical—Belle Barth is Back!
Opens March 23 through April 29, 2018
THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE
OF THE NEW HIT MUSICAL
Tickets and Information
(formerly titled “Belle Barth: If I embarrass you, tell your friends”)
With music by Chicago composer Ilya Levinson and lyrics by Owen Kalt.
“Raunchy Little Musical—Belle Barth is Back!” received rave reviews at performances in Tampa, described by Deb Kelley in Broadway World as:
“an incredible love letter to the woman who had the balls to act like a man, in a time when women were expected to be prim and proper. . .
"There’s no doubt—after laughing on and off for 100 minutes, people will be talking about this show. . .
"Sara DelBeato IS Belle. She’s a prettier, voluptuous, powerhouse embodiment of the comedian, an exuberant force of nature. . . “
"This isn’t just a story about a little-known female comedian’s rise to face; it’s a woman looking for love—love withheld by a disapproving mother, love freely given by a father lost too soon, love from men who always disappointed, and love from an audience who always came through.”
"The play is expertly crafted, and the actors were amazing to watch as they brought Joanne Koch’s words to life in a flawless production.”
Before Joan Rivers, Roseanne, Lisa Lampanelli or Sarah Silverman, Belle Barth was the original, totally irreverent woman comic. Dubbed “the female Lenny Bruce,” Belle Barth—with her bawdy nightclub act and records selling in the millions— became the
forbidden fruit of the fifties.
The great success off-Broadway and on the East Coast of the musical “Sophie, Totie & Belle” and the New York Times review singling out the appeal of the Belle Barth character inspired this evening of jokes, songs, wild but true anecdotes and a few poignant moments of truth. Composer Ilya Levinson and lyricist Owen Kalt, working with Joanne Koch created ten original songs that capture the fifties double standard concerning sex and the unique appeal of a woman who would boldly unveil America’s “dirty little secrets.”
“Belle Barth: If I embarrass you, tell your friends” ( also the title of one of Belle’s hugely popular joke records), debuted at Chicago’s Theo Ubique Theatre where it was recommended for a Joseph Jefferson award and called “funny, tuneful and touching.” Recent staged readings and workshops in L.A. starring Lainie Kazan gave the show further development. Belle is an invitation to laughter for adult audiences, a perfect offering for an intimate theater, commercially viable and highly portable, with a cast of two plus piano
Cast requirements: female singer-comic-actor & versatile male character actor, piano.
Rooted in the lively klezmer music that’s been called Jewish jazz, this original musical follows two sisters and a band of musicians as they come to America in 1910. Men who don’t believe in marriage, women who demand to sing, in public, immigrant challenges inspire romantic, humorous and touching numbers including “The Lonesome Kosher Cowboy,” “Anything Can Happen in America,” “Divorcee’s Tango,” and “I Want to Sing!”
You can’t listen to this engaging klezmer music --or the charming, surprisingly modern story of Love vs. Career, the New vs. Tradition--without tapping your feet, clapping your hands and breaking into a smile.
Composer Ilya Levinson, whose widely praised 1998 composition, Klezmer Rhapsody, “captures the essence of the folk genre through its alternation of schmaltz and zest” has composed for stage and screen, including the recent film documentary on Isa Kremer, Isa: the Eternal Diva. Lyricist Owen Kalt received the prestigious ASCAP Award. His cabaret songs are popular throughout the country. He wrote the lyrics for the new adaptation of “Sleepy Hollow” playing throughout the Midwest.
Cast requirements: three women, six men
violin, clarinet & piano