Peter Allen Flop Musical Legs Diamond Gets California Reading Dec. 2

By Adam Hetrick
December 2, 2012

The short-lived Peter Allen musical Legs Diamond is seen for the first time since its 1988 Broadway run in a Dec. 2 staged reading at Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, CA.



Featuring a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Newsies, La Cage) and Charles Suppon, Legs Diamond features a score by the late Allen. The musical is based on the film "The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond."

Larry Raben directs the 7 PM staged reading, which has choreography by Lee Martino. The cast features Tracy Lore, David Engel, Gwen Stewart and Melissa Fahn.

According to MTW, "The almost totally fictitious musical history of Legs Diamond, a depression-era mobster who wants to break into show business, has practically nothing to do with the real Jack Diamond, who was a ruthless mob gunman, not an entertainer. He worked his way up to operating several speakeasies, including New York's legendary Hotsy Totsy Club. Legs developed a reputation for survival by escaping several attempts on his life. His luck ran out in 1931 when the Dutch Schultz gang gunned him down in Albany."

Allen starred in the title role of the infamous 1988 Broadway flop, which played 72 previews and 64 regular performances at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. It would be the final Broadway production to play the Hellinger before it became the Times Square Church. The cast also featured Julie Wilson, Randall Edwards, Brenda Braxton, Joe Silber, Jim Fyfe, Christian Kauffmann, Pat McNamara and Raymond Serra.

The performance will take place at the University Theater on the CSU Long Beach campus at the 7th Street entrance. Tickets, priced $25, are available by phoning (562) 856-1999, ext. 4 or by visiting musical.org.