“The Seven Little Foys Provide Seven Little Joys,” write the highly respected critics Barbara and Scott Siegel in “The Siegel Column,” TalkinBroadway.com. “It's an unexpected pleasure to discover a retro musical at The Fringe. Chip Deffaa's loving ode to a simpler form of musical comedy, built around the story of Vaudeville star Eddie Foy and his seven children, is a delightful charmer.... Chip Deffaa has done a wonderful job of writing and directing this piece, keeping it well-paced and, most important, keeping its sentimentality honest and true.”
Dea Julien and company in "The Seven Little Foys"
With 200 productions and 75,0000 patrons, the Fringe Festival is the world’s biggest theater festival. “THE SEVEN LITTLE FOYS”–written/directed by award-winning playwright/director Chip Deffaa--is the only hit “family musical” to have emerged from the festival in recent years. And reviewers are delighted!
Joe Franklin (Bloomberg Radio, WBBR) raved: "I have rarely been so riveted to a stage.... This is what show business is really all about."
On NYTheatre.com, David Fuller declares: “Writer-arranger-director Chip Deffaa has concocted a charming homage.... This is sweet nostalgia. The music is mostly early 20th century American, but also includes original tunes that echo the period and are written by Deffaa himself. The musical bits are geared to bring a smile to your face and a warm fuzzy feeling to your heart....This is a feel-good musical in the best sense of that adjective.”
Michael Townsend Wright, Beth Bartley
Rob Lester writes on EdgeBoston.com: “‘The Seven Little Foys’ is an old-fashioned charmer.....Leave it to Chip Deffaa, a lover of old-time show biz quality, to tell this story with affection and musical numbers that will leave you smiling. There’s a lot of heart in the show itself. This valentine to show business and family values is a pleasure to recommend..... Writer-director-arranger Chip Deffaa has written some very pleasing and attractive numbers. (Bravo!) The choreography is excellent...in this top-notch family show...”
Michael Townsend Wright and company
"I went to see 'The Seven Little Foys' at the Fringe Festival because I remembered fondly the movie with Bob Hope. What I experienced was something far more creative, far more entertaining, far more original, and far better acted than the movie was. The leading actor, Michael Townsend Wright, was a discovery; he is very powerful, talented and most unassuming. The kids playing the Seven Little Foys are special--each and every one of them a gem. Chip Deffaa wrote original music and also included songs of the period--a perfect mix. I hope this play goes beyond the Fringe. I hope it goes uptown and is able to be seen by more people, who'll enjoy it and learn from it...." --David G. Meyers, WGBB-AM
We're currently in the process of making a "Seven Little Foys" cast album. (For details on that project, there's a separate page on this website, titled "Seven Foys Cast Album.")
Bettina Paley writes, on BroadwayAfterDark.com, “Garnering kudos as the ‘Fringe Festival's’ contribution to family fare, ‘The Seven Little Foys’ takes a contemporary look at the family act that quickly became a national institution in the early 1900's.”
Beth Bartley and company
"Magnificent! I loved every moment of it. The actors were wonderful, especially Ryan Foy as George M. Cohan. The direction was superb, and the additional songs by Chip Deffaa were delightful. The show deserves to move to Broadway." --Robert Dahdah, playwright/director ("Curly McDimple," "Dames at Sea")
If you would like to license "The Seven Little Foys," please contact Chip Deffaa Productions LLC, telephone: (973) 684-3340; Email: OriginalCast1@aol.com, or Peter Sawyer, President, The Fifi Oscard Agency Inc., 110 W. 40th Street (Suite 2100), NY, NY 10018, telephone: (212) 764-1100; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIME OUT-NEW YORK notes: “The audience loved it, singing along and at times moved to tears..... The first act is mostly a vaudeville revue, with lots of old-timey favorites; in the second act, Deffaa adds original numbers, charmingly and lovingly choreographed. (Where did he find seven kids under 20 who can tap-dance so well?) If you’re a fan of old Broadway, you’ll get a kick out of ‘The Seven Little Foys.’”
And on Stage-Space.biz, Rob Adams writes: “My hunch is that ‘The Seven Little Foys’--Chip Deffaa's ebullient new musical, now getting its New York premiere in the Fringe Festival--will get lots of productions. It is a family musical that works for both adults and young people.... By the time Eddie Foy and his Seven Little Foys perform the big show-stopping numbers---Deffa's own ‘Struttin'’ and ‘Someday’--the kids are dancing with panache. Those buoyant, showmanly new numbers--high points of the evening--are utterly winning... The show's storyline comes to a climax at Christmas-time. While this is a show will work any time, some regional theaters...will no doubt find this a perfect new Christmas vehicle... There's a lot of attention being paid to this ambitious new show.... ‘The Seven Little Foys’ should have a bright future.” (To read the full review, click onto http://www.stage-space.biz/sevenlittlefoys.html )
"'The Seven Little Foys' brings back the good old days of great musicals. It brings a nostalgic era of music to a new generation.... It's a two-hour vacation..." --Barry Z, "BarryZShow.com"
The story of “The Seven Little Foys” inspired a hit movie, starring Bob Hope, as well as a TV special (with Eddie Foy Jr., Donny Osmond and family). And now Deffaa has brought this heart-warming tale to the stage.
Dea Julien, Michael Townsend Wright, Beth Bartley
A Bit About the Show...
Eddie Foy was a beloved Broadway star. He was also a bit of a rogue, a gambler, and a dreamer. He took his seven kids into show business with him. Against all odds, they became the most popular family act of their era.
Michael Townsend Wright recording "Seven Little Foys" demo's
Michael Townsend Wright, who plays Eddie Foy, is a master of comic timing. He got his start doing burlesque sketches with the late Joey Faye. He was a regular on "The Uncle Floyd Show," and has guested on other TV shows, from "Rescue Me" to "The Naked Brothers Band."
He's enlivened such films as "Lansky" and "The Rat Pack."
As Rob Adams noted in his review of "The Seven Little Foys on www.stage-space.biz, "Wright's the real thing, talk/singing his numbers with gruff, endearing authority."
"Michael Townsend Wright plays the roguish father Foy with authentic, show biz charm..." --Rob Lester, EdgeBoston.com
Michael Townsend Wright as Eddie Foy
Michael T. Wright
The score mixes spirited new originals by Chip Deffaa with numbers that Eddie Foy introduced or helped popularize, such as "Chinatown My Chinatown," "Row, Row, Row," and "Moonlight Bay."
Playing the role of "Mrs. Foy" is the Juilliard-trained singer/actor Beth Bartley, who was seen on Broadway in "Fortune's Fool." She gets to sing the evocative ballad, "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland."
"Beth Bartley is wonderful as Mrs. Foy. I am only sorry that her character passed away in the middle of the play; I wanted to see and hear more of her." --David G. Meyers, WGBB-AM.
Beth Bartley, Michael Townsend Wright
And reviewer David Fuller noted, on NYTheatre.com, "Beth Bartley sings beautifully as Mrs. Foy. Her voice is reminiscent of the young Judy Garland..."
Playing George M. Cohan is none other than Ryan Foy--a grandson of one of the original "Seven Little Foys."
And Ryan Foy--as "Back Stage" wrote--"is a natural." The Village Voice observed that Ryan Foy "clearly has both the family bug and the family talent. He lights up the stage whenever he appears." And NYTheatre.com called having Ryan Foy play Cohan "a delicious bit of casting."
"Eddy Francisco, Mitchell Schneider, and Eric Stevens as the three older Foy boys are dancing demons."
--Robert Windeler, Back Stage
"This show certainly boasts the most talented group of kids gathered on stage in memory.... And you won't see more exciting dancing by teens anywhere than by this show's Eric Stevens, Rayna Hirt, and Dea Julien." --Rob Adams, Stage-space.biz
"You will be amazed at the obvious amount of work and energy the cast invested into making the period dance routines so successful and fun. So, Eddy Francisco (Bryan Foy), Eric Stevens (Charlie Foy), Mitchell Schneider (Richard Foy), Rayna Hirt (Madeline Foy), and Alexander Craven (Irving Foy) all need accolades too. Plus, Craven deserves extra mention as the youngest member of the cast, the youngest Foy, and just so darn cute." --David Fuller, NYTheatre.com
Choreographer Justin Boccitto and Assistant Choreographer Cristina Marie, who choreographed the original production with such flair, returned to work on this new Fringe Festival production.
We've worked with some wonderful kids on this project (shown at right making demo recordings of the show's songs).
Peter Charney, Michael T. Wright, Jack Saleeby recording songs of "The Seven Little Foys"
Chris Campochiaro, Peter Charney, Alyssa Campochiaro, Jack Saleeby, Michael Townsend Wright, Devon Eddy, Dea Julien
Natural vaudevillians, all of them, they've had no trouble getting into the spirit of the show's rollicking oldtime vaudeville numbers.
The show also includes nostalgic songs of loss and longing that anyone can relate to. Out on the road, touring in vaudeville after their mother's death, the Foy kids often yearned for their home town of New Rochelle, New York... wishing that life could be the way it once was.
Janell McCarroll, Alyssa Campochiaro, Dea Julien recording demo's for "The Seven Little Foys."
Chris Campochiaro and Peter Charney, working on "Seven Little Foys" songs
Chip Deffaa, the writer and director of "The Seven Little Foys," was born in New Rochelle. As a boy, he lived very near where the Foys--once the most famous residents of New Rochelle--had lived. And growing up, he was befriended by an ex-vaudevillian who'd worked with them. So he grew up familiar with the story of the Foys. Eddie Foy, incidentally, is remembered in New Rochelle with an "Eddie Foy Park," named in his honor.
The cast of the Fringe Festival production includes:
Michael T. Wright ("Eddie Foy"), Beth Bartley ("Mrs. Foy"), Ryan Foy ("George M. Cohan"), Eddy Francisco ("Bryan"), Eric Stevens ("Charlie"), Dea Julien ("Mary"), Mitchell Schneider ("Richard"), Rayna Hirt ("Madeline"), Brandon Reid ("Eddie Jr."), Alexander Craven ("Irving").
Eric Johnson is Assistant Director. Marci Schein is Assistant to the Director. Maryann Lopinto is the Stage Manager/Photographer. (All production photos courtesy of Maryann Lopinto.)
If you'd like to do your own production of "The Seven Little Foys"--and we're always glad to hear from producers, whether it's a school production, a community theater production, a regional production, or a first-class theatrical production--please contact us about licensing the show.
"THE SEVEN LITTLE FOYS" is written for 10 singing actors. If you're interested in doing a musical about this family of entertainers but would prefer a script with roles for more actors, please check out "THE FAMILY THAT SINGS TOGETHER..." (which has 22 speaking parts and is published by Drama Source Co.) and "SONG-AND-DANCE KIDS" (which has 37 speaking parts--great for schools and community theaters wanting a really big production); please see the pages for those shows on this website. Those are our bigger-cast musicals about the Foys.
Legendary agent Archer King, with Michael Townsend Wright, star of "The Seven Little Foys."
It meant a lot to us to have the enthusiastic support of legendary agent Archer King (who discovered such talents as James Dean, Jason Robards, Tommy Tune and Ron Howard)--since he'd known several generations of Foys. Eddie Foy Jr. sent his son, Eddie Foy III, to Archer King, who wound up representing him, as well as (in time) Ryan Foy and Michael Townsend Wright (who plays Eddie Foy Sr. in "The Seven Little Foys").