A new musical version of the classic 1950s sitcom “The Honeymooners” is set to open in San Diego next fall.
The musical will be produced at the city’s Old Globe theater, and will star Michael McGrath as Ralph Kramden, the bus driver with big dreams in the role that was originally played on television by the legendary Jackie Gleason. McGrath won a Tony Award for his role in “Nice Work if You Can Get It.”
No other casting has yet been announced, but the official opening has been revealed as September 22, 2013, with previews beginning September 8. The limited engagement is scheduled to play through October 27.
The book for the new musical is written by Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss, with the music written by Stephen Weiner and lyrics by Peter Mills. Jerry Mitchell, known for his work in “Kinky Boots” and “Legally Blonde” will direct and choreograph.
Like the television show, the musical tells the story of Ralph and Norton, two friends from working-class Brooklyn who enter and win a jingle writing contest, which immediately lands them in the business world of Madison Avenue.
A private presentation of the production is scheduled for last night (December 6) and tonight in New York for producers and others. For the production, McGrath is joined by Tony-nominee Christopher Fitzgerald and Leslie Kritzer, but neither of those actors are signed on for the San Diego production. Though the show is not officially being called a pre-Broadway run, all signs would point that the production has Broadway aspirations.
“The Honeymooners” was originally created by Gleason as a six-minute sketch for a variety show in 1951, and was performed in sketch form from 1951 to 1955. The CBS half-hour sitcom then ran from 1955-1956, and included a total of 39 episodes. Additional sketches were performed by Gleason for many following years.