Neil Simon’s Little Me at TheatreZone in Naples

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Neil Simon’s hysterical musical Little Me will debut at Naples’ TheatreZone on Thursday, March 7, portraying the romantic adventures of Belle Poitrine.
It is based on the novel by Patrick Dennis (Auntie Mame) titled “Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of that Great Star of Stage, Screen and Television, Belle Poitrine.”
The original 1962 Broadway production starred Sid Caesar, with music by the legendary composer Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, City of Angels) and choreography by Bob Fosse. Its appeal and success inspired several revivals and multiple Tony Award nominations.
Mark Danni, founding artistic director of TheatreZone, said “Little Me has been on my short list for a long time. It’s a golden age musical with fantastic music by Cy Coleman and the humor of Neil Simon.”
Danni added that the TheatreZone production will have “a great orchestra led by music director Keith Thompson and fun tap-dancing choreography by Karen Molnar Danni. It’s a very entertaining night at the theatre.”
The musical follows Belle Poitrine’s (nee Schlumpfert) comic 50-year journey from a humble beginning in Drifter’s Row. She yearns for a more exalted life like than on The Bluff, falls in love with the wealthy Noble Eggleston, and crisscrosses America and Europe in a pursuit to earn his mother’s favor. Her multiple love affairs and marriages elevate her status with wealth, culture and social position.
Seven men in Belle’s life will be played by a single performer: New York-based actor Adolpho Blaire, returning to TheatreZone for his 20th performance to play an astonishing variety of characters: Belle’s first love, a banker, theatrical producer, French entertainer, night club owner, Hollywood director, soldier and Monte Carlo prince.

The role was originated by Sid Caesar in the original 1962 production, with a 1982 revival starring James Coco, and a second Broadway revival in 1998 starring Martin Short, who won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
Mark Danni said, “We had an extensive and competitive audition process for the coveted role of one person playing seven characters. Adolpho’s audition was stellar. Every character and every accent was perfectly done.”

Lauren Culver

Belle Poitrine will be played by Lauren Culver in her second TheatreZone musical since playing Vibrata in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 2012. Culver is on stage for the entirety of Little Me, lending comedy to the show as she ages and changes costumes on stage in front of the audience.
“Lauren absolutely killed it in the audition. She is a stellar actress, great singer and performer,” said Danni.
Little Me will be directed by Mark Danni. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on March 7 – 10 and 14 – 17 and at 2 p.m. March 9, 10, 16 and 17.
Tickets are $50, $65 and $85, depending on seat selection.
TheatreZone presents its musical performances in the intimate 250-seat G&L Theatre conveniently located in Naples at 13275 Livingston Road, between Pine Ridge and Vanderbilt Beach Roads.
For tickets, visit www.Theatre.Zone or call the box office at 888-966-3352, ext. 1.


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