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Book & Lyrics by Stephen Cole Music by David Evans

A tuneful, original smart, funny, warm new musical comedy about childhood, parents, Broadway and Ethel Merman. Who could ask for anything more?​



1970. The Golden Age of Musical Theatre is drawing to an end. But twelve-year-old Muriel Plakenstein doesn't know that. So she runs away from home to become a Broadway star, and meets the Queen of Broadway Ethel Merman, who takes her to a Hello, Dolly! rehearsal where they sing together. When legendary producer David Merrick hears the kid, he decides to star Muriel in the first all-child cast of Dolly! Naturally, Merman takes her under wing to teach her the ropes of being a star...making little Muriel Plakenstein...Merman's Apprentice!

Presented August 11th, 2013-Village Theatre's Festival of New Musicals-Village Originals in Issaquah, Wa (near Seattle)

February 11-13 in London at the Landor Theatre's Page to Stage Festival Starring Kim Criswell and Elizabeth Seal.

JUNE 15, 2015! Concert Version at Birdland, NYC!

Starring Klea Blackhurst with Anita Gillette!

JANUARY 18, 2016! Return Engagement at Birdland, NYC

celebrating release of

Original Cast Recording by Jay Records.

Full Stage Production Sonoma Arts, Sonoma, Ca Sept. 27, 2019


"Here they are, boys! Here they are, world! Not only Ethel Merman, but MERMAN’S APPRENTICE, too – namely Muriel Plakenstein, a 12-year-old kids who idolizes The Merm to the point that she even knows what Happy Hunting was. Despite that, Merman takes to the kid as she would a sixteen-bar note. On stage and screen, we’ve seen The First Lady of the American Theatre act brassy and even self-centered, but bookwriter-lyricist Stephen Cole knows there was a sweet heart nestling under those leather lungs. Of course such a show has to be a musical, and David Evans provides melodies that have the perfect period pizzazz to remind us of when Broadway really was Broadway. Never mind “Miss Bird’s Eye” -- MERMAN’S APPRENTICE hits the bull’s eye."

     Peter Filichia, theater critic, Star-Ledger emeritus

merman's sonoma2.jpg

Click the arrow to hear Carly Rose Sonenclar sing "Living Out Loud"

Click the arrow to hear "Chums"

Click the arrow to hear "All About Ethel"
Click the arrow to hear "Show Biz is Better than Life"

Click the arrow to hear "Merman's Apprentice"

Click the arrow to hear Klea Blackhurst sing "Little Bit"

Click the arrow to hear "I Really Like It"
Klea Blackhurst at Birdland singing "Now You're Gonna Sing" accompanied by David Evans.
Kim Criswell & Olivia Hallet perform "Chums" in the London Page to Stage reading
Klea Blackhurst singing "Taking the Veil" accompanied by David Evans.
Muriel stops the show singing "I Really Like It" in the Village Originals Staged Reading at Village Theatre in Seattle, WA
Kim Criswell performs "Now You're Gonna Sing" in the London Page to Stage reading
Photos from the 2019 World Premiere Production at SonomaArts in Sonoma, CA
Photos by Miller Oberlin
Photos from the January 2016 Broadway at Birdland Concert & CD Party
Photos from the Jay Records Original Cast CD recording session
Photos from the Jun 2015 Broadway at Birdland Concert in NYC starring Klea Blackhurst
Photos from the Page to Stage Festival at the Landor Theatre, London UK starring Kim Criswell
Photos from the Village Original New Musicals Festival August 2013, Seattle WA
Photos from the Michigan and NYC readings starring Klea Blackhurst
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