The Actors Fund announced today a 40th Anniversary reunion benefit concert of the 1979 hit Broadway production of They’re Playing Our Song. The concert will be held on Monday, February 11th at 7:30 pm at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th St.) and will star the Broadway cast members Lucie Arnaz as “Sonia Walsk” and Robert Klein as “Vernon Gersch."
Featuring a book by three-time Tony Award winner Neil Simon and a score by Academy Award winners Marvin Hamlisch and Academy Award winner Carole Bayer Sager, They’re Playing Our Song was one of the biggest hit musicals, playing for over 1000 performances on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre before touring the country and the rest of the world. The concert will take place 40 years to the day of the original Broadway opening.
The concert—directed by veteran award-winning director/choreographer Chet Walker and featuring a full orchestra under the musical direction of Larry Blank—will be a benefit for The Actors Fund.
“To be asked to revisit one of the best theatrical memories of my career, and get a chance to have those Neil Simon words come out of my mouth again and bring Marvin and Carole’s unforgettable music back to the stage was just too good an invitation to turn down,” said Lucie Arnaz. “The original cast forty years after its Broadway opening? Truly rare. Maybe even historic. Best of all we will be packing the house to benefit The Actors Fund, especially Song’s original ‘keyboard fingers’ Fran Liebergal. Robert Klein and I do laugh, though, that instead of the love story of Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager, we’re now playing Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields. Ha! And I can’t wait.”
“I’m thrilled to be reuniting with Lucie to step back into this show which has meant so much to us, especially for such a great cause, The Actors Fund,” said Robert Klein. “To sing the wonderful songs of Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager and to say the great lines of Neil Simon is a thrill. Still fresh after 40 years.”
The concert will be produced in association with Robert Greenblatt, who is currently Chairman of NBC Entertainment and a force behind all of the network’s live musicals; he is also a Tony-winning producer with credits that include Tootsie (opening in 2019), The Inheritance, Mean Girls, Dear Evan Hansen, Something Rotten!, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and 9 to 5 The Musical.
Neil Simon wrote They’re Playing Our Song based on the real-life relationship between his collaborators Hamlisch and Sager. Vernon Gersh is a successful wisecracking composer who teams up with quirky Lyricist Sonia Walsk. This mismatched pair go through a variety of hurdles, personal and professional, before falling in love.
“This will be a legendary night of world-class talent,” said Actors Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell. “I’m both honored and humbled that the producers, creative team and original cast are coming together to help those in need in our community.”
They’re Playing Our Song was originally produced on Broadway by Emanuel Azenberg.
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.