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
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"