If you're looking for an exuberant, full-length musical comedy with roles for lots of actors, look no further! The warm, witty, and nostalgic "SONG-AND-DANCE KIDS" has 38 speaking parts (evenly divided between males and females)--including Harry Houdini, Marie Dressler, Irving Berlin, President Woodrow Wilon, and Mae West. The real stars of this musical, though, are the seven rambunctious song-and-dance kids of the Foy family.
When Chip Deffaa presented his musical "The Seven Little Foys" in New York City, the response from reviewers and audience-members was terrific. Everyone loved this heart-warming tale of a showbiz family.
"The Seven Litttle Foys" is written for just 10 actors. And for many theaters, that's an excellent cast size. But some theaters and schools want shows with bigger casts.
"Song-and-Dance Kids"--inspired by the story of Eddie Foy and his family of entertainers--can be mounted with anywhere from 24-40 actors. This big-cast musical about the Foy family provides a look into a fabulous era of entertainment.
The score of this musical includes some of the most enduringly popular songs of all pop songs, including "In the Good Old Summertime," "Play a Simple Melody," "So Long, Mary," "All by Myself," "Aba Daba Honeymoon," "Alexander's Ragtime Band," and "Till We Meet Again"--plus some very rare Foy-family special material ("Stories Adam told to Eve") found nowhere else.
These timeless songs--written by the likes of Richard Whiting, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, William Jerome and Jean Schwartz--remain a joy to sing. Chip Deffaa has arranged these evergreens, and also written a few whimsical originals of his own.
This story has lots of heart, and lots of humor. It's set in the vaudeville era, but it sure speaks to us today. For it's the story of a single parent (a widower) trying to hold his family together, teaching his kids the only trade he knows. His trade just happens to be singing-and-dancing.
The kids don't want to go along. But the father knows it's the only way to keep the family together. And as the family troupes across America, entertaining folks from Waterbury, Connecticut to LaVergne, Tennessee, to Los Angeles, California, they're also learning what's really important in life.
This big-cast version of the story of the Seven Little Foys offers terrific opportunities for singing and dancing. As actors who've worked on the project have noted, songs like "Aba Daba Honeymoon," "Under the Bamboo Tree," "The Circus is Coming to Town," and "The Barnum & Baliey Rag" are just plain fun to perform.
Michael Herwitz, Alexis Schwoyer, Marissa Smoker
And whether you're doing a regional theater, community theater, or school production, that sense of fun will be shared by performers and audience members alike.
Connecticut's The In-the-Hills Drama Club, under the supervision of Pam Pinto, has licensed "Song-and-Dance Kids" and is a planning a forthcoming production at the historic Thomaston Opera House. Break legs, everyone! For more info on that planned production, click here:
"I love the characters of the Foy family," notes playwright/director Chip Deffaa, "and I've enjoyed writing three musical plays about them. I also feel very grateful that gifted and dedicated performers have helped develop the Foys project over the last few years."
These photos were taken at the first reading of the script, at the Roy Arias Studio in New York City.
Playwright/director Chip Deffaa (at right) going over the script with actors Michael Herwitz, Peter Charney, Marissa Smoker, Alexis Schwoyer, and Jeffrey Omura
Michael Townsend Wright, Chip Deffaa, Mitchell Schneider, Michael Herwitz, Peter Charney
"It's meant a lot to me that wonderful actors I've known and worked with for years, along with sharp newcomers who keep coming up, help workshop the scripts," says Deffaa.
"For a playwright, it's terrific to be able to 'road-test' scripts with actors you've known and worked with for years--it's like having a repertory company with which to develop projects," says Deffaa. "I'm grateful that among those at our first reading of 'Song-and-Dance Kids' were some terrific actors who've worked with me on past shows, such as Michael Townsend Wright (whom I've known and admired for a quarter-century), Beth Bartley, Joan Jaffe, Dea Julien, Peter Charney, Eric Johnson, Mitch Schneider..." Rounding out the cast: Jeffrey Omura, Michael Herwitz, Alexis Schwoyer, Elversa Roussel, Wendy Morris, Lewis Chambers, Marissa Smoker, Sandy Bloom.
Michael Townsend Wright, Joan Jaffe, Elvera Roussel
Michael Townsend Wright (whose credits range from the film "The Rat Pack" to television's "Naked Brothers Band") and Joan Jaffe (who's been seen in such films as "Hello Dolly!," "The Producers," and "The Savages"), share a moment with Elvera Roussel (whose assorted credits include five year's on TV's "The Guiding Light").
Dea Julien, Jeffrey Omura
The muti-talented Dea Julien and Jeffrey Omura have both worked for the New York Public Theatre, among assorted other credits. Julien has been involved in the Foys project since its inception, singing on some of the earliest demo recordings. Omura came to this reading of "Song-and-Dance Kids" after a recent appearance on TV's "Gossip Girl."
"Being able to workshop these shows with actors I really like, both young and old, keeps the shows lively," says Deffaa. "The energy they add as we do readings and rehearsals finds its way into the finished script. Some of our talented actors--like Jack Saleeby and Peter Charney--have even come up with ad libs or quips that have wound up becoming permanent parts of the shows. I'm grateful to them all.
"We have a lot of fun developing these shows. And hopefully you'll have just as much fun doing them," says Deffaa.
"Song-and-Dance Kids" is part of Deffaa's trilogy of plays about the Foy family of New Rochelle, New York. It has 38 roles. The other plays in the trilogy are "The Seven Little Foys" (which has roles for 10 actors) and "The Family That Sings Together..." (which has roles for 22 actors).
Wendy Morris, Sandra Bloom, Lewis Chambers
Peter Charney, Alexis Schwoyer, Jeffrey Omura, Joan Jaffe
Why not do a regional premiere of this big, rollicking family musical comedy?
If you would like to license "Song-and-Dance Kids"--or would just like more information--please contact: