Musical/ 8 Characters, 4 Men, 4 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts
Synopsis: It’s Singin’ in the Rain meets Hollywood Babylon. On a farm in Walnut, Iowa, the abused but ambitious Ellie Ash aspires to screen immortality. Elmo Green, a scenarist from NYC, bicycles by. He’s immediately smitten by Ellie, who jumps on his bike — Hollywood bound. Soon they work with characters reminiscent of Ethel Merman (brassy Bertha Powell), Gene Kelly (fleet Danny Burke), Mario Lanza (lumpy Tony Toscanni), Edward Von Stroheim (producer-director Norman G. Neinstein), & Joan Crawford (vamp Lulu Beauveen). Ultimately, Ellie triumphs at N.G.N. Productions — the “Girl of a Thousand Sounds” — until columnist Adele DeRale exposes unseemly events. Separately, Ellie & Elmo climb up to the Hollywoodland Sign — about to jump — but instead decide to try Broadway.
The first act of Tales of Tinseltown may be read by clicking the Read It Now button. For a complete reading copy, please see the contact information on this page.
“DAMN NEAR PERFECT! Attention Messrs. Shubert, Azenberg, Schoenfeld, et al. While Broadway bemoans the fact that ‘there just aren’t any new musicals will run forever and make millions for everyone involved,’ composer Paul Katz and librettist Michael Colby have come up with what could be the new Fantasticks, Dames at Sea or other long-running, money-making, mega-hit. A musical extravaganza.” — Ron Mullen, Backstage (NY)
“DELICIOUS SATIRE! An ambitious pure Hollywood musical. Numbers that are laughter from the first syllable to the last.” — D.R.J. Bruckner, New York Times
“WATCH FOR IT! This is a crowd-pleaser packed with talent. Paul Katz’s music captures the schmaltzy and plunkety-plunk early movie tempo, never falsifying the clever libretto of every false value Michael Colby could conceive of. You will leave the theatre wreathed in smiles.” — Marjorie Gunner (President, NY Outer Critics Circle), On and Off-Broadway
“WACKY FUN! Suggests Dames at Sea crossed with Carol Burnett’s entire oeuvre. Delicious, tuneful, winning.” — David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times
Amateur and professional rights:
Steele Spring Theatrical Licensing
3845 Cazador St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 739-0413 / fax (818) 232-9158
About the playwright: Michael Colby is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk Award nomination), Tales of Tinseltown (Coconut Grove Playhouse), North Atlantic (Show Business Award), Mrs. McThing (Goodspeed), and Ludlow Ladd (New American Theatre). He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has written special material for numerous celebrities and Theatre by the Blind. He is a member of the BMI and The Dramatists Guild.
About the composer: About the composer: Paul Katz has written music and lyrics heard on television, stage, and radio. He is the composer of Dirty Dreams of a Clean Cut Kid, which won San Francisco’s prestigious Cable Car Award (1991) for “Outstanding Achievement in Theatre,” as well as Chicago’s After Dark Award. His other musicals include the acclaimed Seduction and The American Beat Nightclub. In collaboration with Michael Colby, he wrote the musical scores to Slay It With Music and Tinseltown. Tinseltown was showcased off-off Broadway, then presented in a revised version at the George Street Playhouse, the Gaslamp Theatre (San Diego), and, most recently, the Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami) to great success. Accompanist to such stars as Andrea Marcovicci, Marilyn Michaels, and Vicki Stuart, he was musical director/arranger for Forbidden Broadway Presents Mr. President and This Life: A Tribute to Portia Nelson, winning the prestigious Bistro Award.
Tales Of Tinseltown was first produced by The Directors Company at Musical Theatre Works (New York, NY): August, 1985.