If you only know Betty Hutton from the songs she sang in Annie Get Your Gun, you ain’t seen “Nuttin’” yet. Nuttin’ But Hutton is a new musical at the NoHo Arts Center featuring the music legacy of Betty Hutton.
Musical director Sam Kriger, who wrote the show’s book with Nuttin’s creator-star Diane Vincent, says, “When Betty Hutton was Paramount’s biggest star she had the greatest songwriters creating specialty material for her. They catered to her wacky knack for making an audience laugh. We’ve taken these amazing numbers off the shelf so the world can hear them again. We have 26 songs presented by an energetic star and cast, a great live band, framed by a beautiful set.”
Diane Vincent conceived the musical that follows super-fan “Dee Dee” (Vincent), who is hell-bent on doing a Betty Hutton musical tribute. Helping out are her enthusiastic chorus boy buddies “Tom” (Chad Borden), “Dick” (Daniel Guzman), and “Harry” (Justin Jones), plus producer “Buster Heymeister” (Nathan Holland).
“It’s in the spirit of the ‘let’s put on a show’ musicals,” describes Vincent. “People will have fun discovering this classic star who embodies the joy of performing. The highlights include the clever Hamlet number that is the penultimate of the crazy Betty Hutton style. Another surprise is the way we dispense the biographical information. We showcase the music, but the audience will walk away with a sense of what made Betty so special.”
It is filled with showstoppers, says director Larry Raben, who has crafted the show with choreographer Lee Martino. “Our performers have to sing, dance, act, and be funny. And they do it all with aplomb, along with the six-piece big band featuring the best musicians in showbiz. It’s a must-see for all ages because as we take Dee Dee’s journey, we will all become Betty Hutton fans, whether we’ve heard of her before or not. People are going to get much more than they expect. They will laugh themselves silly, and see Hutton as the life of the Hollywood party.”
Nuttin’ But Hutton runs Thursdays & Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 & 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 3 p.m.; through Sunday, April 28, at the NoHo Arts Center located at 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-595-4849 or go to nuttinbuthutton.com.