Romantic musical about Nancy & Ronald Reagan by Oscar and Tony award-winning creative team on stage in NoHo
In a Booth at Chasen’s is a Hollywood love story that is historic, emotional and surprising as the extraordinary romance between actor Ronald Reagan and starlet Nancy Davis unfolds. This legendary courtship between a future president and his “first lady” is showcased as a wonderful musical making its world premiere November 9 through 25 at the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.
It offers music evocative of the ’50s era; all original songs with music and lyrics from Al Kasha and Phil Swann. The book is by Sam Bennett, with Kay Cole at the helm as director/choreographer. The new musical is presented by John Herklotz and American Happenings in association with Ron Dante, Ceil and Al Kasha, and Conwell Worthington, supervising producer.
Starring in the epic romance are musical theatre veterans Kelley Dorney as Nancy Davis and Brent Schindele as Ronald Reagan.
“It is the perfect time in America to revisit this wonderful love story, from two people on their first date at Chasen’s and how they fell in love, which changed the world. But this show is not about politics,” producer Ron Dante explained. “Audiences will see how Ronald meets a woman who inspires him, and love changes everything.”
In a Booth at Chasen’s is a two character musical with the spotlight on Ronald and Nancy, and lots of wonderful songs that express what they are feeling inside. “It’s challenging with two people on the stage all the time, but Kelley Dorney is a standout and Brent Schindele with his great presence create the magic that’s so important to bring the iconic love story to life. Both have the most magnificent voices that also create musical magic,” praised Dante, producer of two Tony-winning Broadway shows – Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Children of a Lesser God. Grammy-nominated Dante is also the hit-making record producer for Barry Manilow’s first nine albums.
Al Kasha (two-time Oscar-winning lyricist) and Phil Swann (acclaimed musical composer) came up with the idea of doing the musical play about Ronald and Nancy. Their Chasen’s songs include: “What If He Doesn’t Like Me?,” “Another Woman In My Life,” the passionate “Club of Two” and “Red,” a defining moment for Nancy. Also there’s a rage against the tabloid press, “What a Way to Make a Living,” and an emotional confrontation, “Is It You? Is It Me? Is It We?” Then Ronald realizes that Nancy is his whole life with “She Makes Me Right.”
“It’s a big ballade that’s a showstopper,” Dante promises.
The show stops short of political aspirations, but audiences might get an inkling of what’s coming for the all-American couple. Dante said audiences will discover things they didn’t know about the Reagans. “There’s a lot of background that wasn’t well publicized that comes out in the show. The way we portray them is very beautiful, so I feel people will leave the theater knowing them better than they ever did before. And there are many songs that will linger long after the performance is over,” said the hit-maker.
“In a Booth at Chasen’s” has its world premiere Friday, November 9 to Sunday, November 25 on the El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage. For tickets and information visit InABoothAtChasens.com. The historic El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood