BootLeg Betty

Synopsis of “Dollface”

The Prince Music Theater presents the new 1950s rock and roll musical Dollface , the first musical by The Hooters’ Rob Hyman and New Jersey‘s Little Isidore/David Forman. The show is packed with tunes that evoke the very essence of 1956.

Dollface is a gal who will stop at nothing to be a television comic… but she just ain’t funny. However, the glamour and allure of the guilty pleasures at Club Rub a Dub Dub keep calling out to her. This retro musical is sexy and juicy and just plain fun.

Dollface is written and conceived by B.J. Sebring with music and lyrics by David Forman in collaboration with Rob Hyman, Johnny Gale, Rick Chertoff, Eric Bazilian, Lou Bellofatto, B.J. Sebring, and the ‘divine’ Bette Midler.

A little more about Dollface from an old article:

“Dollface,” which runs April 12 through 15, is a sidelong wink at the synthetically cheery 1950s and the breezy musicals that flourished during that era. Its spunky protagonist is Dolores Faith Zuckerman (Linda Shell), a gal who aches for the big-time as a comedienne. She sure has dreams. “Coca, Storm, Fabray, and Ball,” she sings, defiantly. “Damn! I’m funnier than them all.” But who has the heart to tell Dolores that she’s about as funny as a crutch?
As she pines for that big break, Dolores meets a gym teacher named Hank (Collin Carr). Suddenly, he’s pitching woo and tempting her with married life on Utopia Parkway in Queens. Will Dolores pursue the elusive fame or opt for a place at the kitchen stove?

The show’s composer-lyricist is David Forman, who co-wrote “Dollface” with BJ Sebring. Forman jokes that the husband-wife collaboration involved “a lot of head banging in the dining room.” A past president of the Rhinebeck Theater Society, he has appeared in the center’s productions of “The Front Page,” “The Threepenny Opera,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Twelfth Night.” The first act of “Dollface” was workshopped at Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater summer series in 2004.

The cast includes David Tass Rodriguez, Carla Rozman, Lance Lavender, Karen Gale, Joe Felece, and Donna Generale, all playing the larger-than-life characters you might still find on a trip over the Queensborough Bridge. (Forman, for the record, hails from Brooklyn.)

Like a number of ’50s musicals—think of the gangster’s horse-betting scheme in “Bells Are Ringing”—“Dollface” also sports a shaggy-dog subplot. This one involves a magician and a double-crossing jewelry heist. What this musical lacks is warmed-over, ’50s-style greaser music. “This is not a pastiche or parody,” says Forman, who has written tunes for Cyndi Lauper, Levon Helm, Marianne Faithfull, and The Hooters, as well as for TV and radio commercials. He wrote numbers that paid homage to pre-rock ’n’ roll divas Jo Stafford and Gogi Grant.

Forman had another collaborator on “Dollface”: Bette Midler. They met through The Hooters’s Rob Hyman (whp worked with Cyndi Lauper), a longtime friend who had worked with Forman on a 2001 musical called “Largo.” At the time, Midler wanted a stage show written for her. Several meetings were held in her Manhattan townhouse and Midler eventually contributed to two songs for “Dollface,” coaching Forman to forgo predictable, glib lyrics for a couplet that would tear at the heart. Since then, the legendarily fickle Miss M has backed off from the project, but Forman and Sebring continued on their own.
“I’m running with this thing,” Forman says.

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