Updated November 18, 2021 - 9:33 am
Oscar Goodman has never apologized for his career as a “mob lawyer.” He’s not about to allow his stage character to say he’s sorry, either.
This lesson is paramount in the development of “Goodman: An American Musical.” This is the story of Goodman, from his days as a part-time custodian working his way through law school in Philadelphia, to the moment he convinces his skeptical family he should run for mayor of Las Vegas.
Two readings of the project were held Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 at Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center.
Goodman has envisioned the musical at least since his third mayoral term, and likely even further back than that (I’m old enough to remember him mentioning Clint Holmes portraying him in the production about a decade ago).
The culmination of “Goodman” is the lead character’s tireless pursuit of support from his family to run for mayor. He earns their blessing, in part, by proclaiming he will use public office as a platform to atone for representing many felonious clients.
The real Goodman says, “No dice.”
“I would never apologize, or expiate myself, from the guilt I’ve had in my career as an attorney, because there isn’t any,” Goodman said Wednesday. “That’s my hill to die on. If that’s in, I’m out.”
For that reason, and for others, the show is being re-written. As is common among projects targeted for Broadway, the musical is a work in progress, I feel anyone who saw the presentation would concur. One of those audience members was Goodman himself.
There is some raking to do, some tightening of the script, some punching up. The play needs to establish the right tenor (is this to be whimsical or farcical?) and somehow explain the timing of it all (whyare we revisiting Oscar Goodman’s life, today?).
“We’re still working on it, especially writing the last part again,” Goodman says. “I need to be able to resolve the rewrite before we move forward.”
If nothing else, this is would be the Broadway musical whose cast sings of a man (Tony Spilotro) being killed a corn field. That’s actually a song in the show, conveyed with great zeal by Doug Sills (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Scarlet Pimpernel”). He’s the actor who portrayed Goodman this month, and also in a reading of the show in New York in August 2019.
Kate Baldwin (“Hello Dolly,” “Big Fish”) has portrayed Carolyn Goodman, who acts as a binding arbiter in the decision that would, ultimately, set her up for three terms of her own as mayor of Las Vegas.
Co-producer Kevin McCollum introduced the presentations, which were directed by Richard Israel. A cast of 16 Broadway performers were enlisted to play various roles in the Goodman saga, including the Goodman kids Oscar Jr., Ross, Eric and Cara.
Oscar Goodman is eager to for a new draft and to push this project a stop closer to the Great White Way, if that is to be its future. A lot of work needs to be done before then, as bringing a show to Broadway is a painstaking process. Still …
“I want them to do it as fast as they can do it,” Goodman said. “I really want to get the rewrite of this behind me so we know it’s the best it can be. There are issues that need to be resolved, but I’m optimistic we will get there.”
Our Adele thoughts
In the spree of interviews leading to her appearance with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, Adele addressed Vegas residency buzz to Rolling Stone magazine. A paragraph deep into the profile reads: “She shoots down the rumors of a Las Vegas residency, which she hasn’t signed up to do ‘because there’s (expletive) nothing available.’”
We take that to mean this is primarily a question of scheduling. Adele did not rule out a Vegas residency, in principle. She does indicate there has been an effort to review venue availability. I’ve understood for months that available dates were vital for Adele’s camp. I’ve also understood Vegas theater operators will move heaven and earth (if not Earth Wind and Fire) to accomodate an Adele residency.
We still don’t know exactly how much Adele wants to perform multiple shows in a week. She’s also had vocal troubles in the past, which has to factor into her desire to perform several concerts in the desert.
That said, the network-TV appearance only bolstered Adele’s popularity. Her ratings from Sunday’s show, drawing more than 10 million viewers, surpassed even the Grammy Awards telecast. Her upcoming concert at Hyde Park is selling at unprecedented levels.
Adele also told Rolling Stone she’s not touring next year. “It’s too unpredictable, with all the rules and stuff. I don’t want anyone coming to my show scared. And I don’t want to get COVID, either.”
Her intimate concert segment from Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles was soaring. I can’t believe, simply from a fan’s perspective, that will be her only performance in support of “30,” and the only show through the end of 2022. Nothing available? We’ll see.
She has claws
The fabulous comic actress Penny Wiggins, best-known as The Amazing Johnathan’s sidekick Psychic Tanya, has been cast in “The Tiger King” spoof “Tiger Party.” Enoch Augustus Scott plays Joe Exotic in the musical, which if all goes according to plan (cough) will open in December at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. I’m thinking first quarter, 2022, but Scott has proven me wrong before.
Cool Hang(s) Alert
Vegas chanteuse Nieve Malandra’s fine singing is paired with the fine dining at Todd English’s Olives at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. She’s at the Stirling Club at Turnberry Place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and later that night from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Eight Lounge at Resorts World Las Vegas.
We have more Malandra, too: She’s back at Olives with Robby Wingfield on keys from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. She closes the run at Olives with Todd Simon, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday. No cover for any of this good-mood music. Remember to dress “chic.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.