DAYTON — The title “Bullets Over Broadway,” as one would suspect, brings together mobsters and actors in a production of a large-scale musical set in the 1920s.
Filmgoers may recall Woody Allen’s 1994 film version of “Bullets Over Broadway” a crime-comedy show that earned five Academy Award nominations.
Today, 20 years later, Allen returns with the stage show of the same name but with 20 songs and tap-dancing choreography that reflect the Tin Pan Alley feel of the age of Prohibition.
The touring musical of “Bullets Over Broadway” is slated Nov. 3-8 as part of the Premier Health Broadway Series at the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton.
The plot focuses on a struggling playwright sells out when the mob offers him a chance to direct his latest play on Broadway. The catch: the mobster’s girlfriend must be cast in the lead role.
Portrayed by Jeff Brooks in the Schuster show, the gangster named Cheech also give unwanted advice about the script and the staging. Such impertinence sparks some tense moments behind the scenes.
Brooks, a native of Uttica, N.Y, joined the cast nearly two months when it started its nationwide tour.
“It is a blast, lots of toe-tapping music, lots of dancing and some colorful characters,” Brooks said.
Moreover, he praised the rich period details of the costumes and scenic design that enhance the “show’s realism.”
Award-winning choreographer Susan Stroman has worked on all the dance numbers in the show,
“She’s the best in the business,” said Brooks, who appeared seven years ago at the Schuster in the touring show “Beauty and the Beast.”
Brooks recalls his early moments on stage, as he talks about his mother — a high show drama instructor in his home town.
“She would bring me to the theater in a crib during play rehearsals, so I got theater in my blood real early,” Brooks said.
‘Bullets Over Broadway” opens its one-week engagement Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Schuster Center. For reservations, call 228-3630.