The Fourth Annual Betty Garrett Memorial Musical Comedy Tribute at Theatre West will consist of four concert performances of “By Jupiter,” the musical with book by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, music by Rodgers and lyrics by Hart. It was first performed on Broadway in 1942 and ran for a year, starring Ray Bolger and Benay Venuta. “By Jupiter” is based on Julian F. Thompson’s “The Warrior’s Husband.”
Miriam Nelson directs and choreographs the Theatre West staging, as she did with “Panama Hattie” and “Let’s Face It.” She has enjoyed a lustrous career as the choreographer of many classic Hollywood movies (“Picnic,” “The Apartment,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Cactus Flower,” more) TV shows (“The Red Skelton Hour,” “The Bob Hope Show,” “The Judy Garland Special,” “The Hollywood Palace,” more) and live events (Hollywood Bowl, Disney on Parade, Disneyland Opening Day).
Brian O’Halloran returns as musical director. He was musical director for “Panama Hattie” and “Let’s Face It,” and in 2011 directed “Something for the Boys.”
Hippolyta rules as Queen of the Amazons, where women are warriors and men keep house, raise the kids, and buy new hats. The source of the queen’s power is the girdle of the goddess Diana, in the possession of and worn by Hippolyta. The gods have decreed that Hercules, as one of his assigned Twelve Labors, must relieve Hippolyta of the girdle and spirit it away. Hercules heads for Amazonia in the company of the Greek army, led by Theseus.
Hippolyta prepares to do battle with the Greeks, neglecting her lovesick groom Sapiens. She leaves the girdle of power with her sister, soldier supreme Antiope, to protect it. Antiope meets Theseus, and romantic sparks fly.
Hilarious and tuneful, the last of the great Rodgers and Hart musicals contains such memorable songs as “Everything I’ve Got,” “Wait Till You See Her,” “Nobody’s Heart” and more.
The cast includes Saratoga Ballantine, Troy Guthrie, Patricia Jaramillo, Devra Korwin, Gerald Lancaster, Evan McNamara, Kerry Melachouris, Barbara Minkus, Anne Montavon, Donald Moore, Michael Pammit, Linda L. Rand, Nick Santa Maria, Sandra Tucker and Sarah Ann Vail.
Proceeds from the performances support the continuing work of Theatre West and the Betty Garrett Musical Comedy Workshop, named in memory of the beloved MGM musical star who was a Theatre West co-founder and who moderated its musical comedy workshop for decades. Over the course of her career, she was honored with the Golden Globe, the Ovation Award, Queen of the Angels Award, L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, and Valley Theatre League Award.
The event is presented in part through the support of the Lloyd E. Rigler- Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation.
“By Jupiter” opens 8 p.m. Saturday, February 8 and performs 2 p.m. Sunday, February 9, 8 p.m. Saturday February 15 and 2 p.m. Sunday, February 16. General admission: $25. Premium Seating (first four rows): $50. Call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.
Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West in Los Angeles. The venue is near North Hollywood, Universal City and Studio City. There is free parking in a lot across the street.