Busker Alley composers Robert and Richard Sherman with their frequent creative collaborator Walt Disney.
Busker Alley composers Robert and Richard Sherman with their frequent creative collaborator Walt Disney.

Musical Theatre West's Reiner Staged Reading Series will offer a one-night-only presentation of the A.J. Carothers/Sherman Brothers musical Busker Alley on Sunday, August 17 at the University Theatre at California State University, Long Beach.

Based on the 1938 British film St. Martin's Kane (whose American title is The Sidewalks of London), Busker Alley has not been performed on the west coast in nearly two decades. Darcie Roberts, the original star of the Busker Alley national tour, helms the one-night event, with musical direction by David Lamoureux and David Catalan. The cast will feature James Leo Ryan (Annie) as Charlie Baxter and Sarah Elizabeth Combs (The Phantom of the Opera) as Libby St. Alban, with Long Beach actress Laura Killingsworth (42nd Street) in a guest-starring role.

Busker Alley tells the story of Charlie Baxter, a street performer (or "busker"), and Libby St. Alban, who is on her way to stardom. Tommy Tune and Darcie Roberts led the 1995 touring production, with Jim Dale and Jessica Grové taking on the lead roles for a semi-staged concert performance in 2006, which featured Glenn Close in a special-guest-star appearance.

The Sherman Brothers are best known for their contributions to the Disney musical archive, composing the scores for films such as Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Jungle Book. The Happiest Millionaire was their first collaboration with Carothers, who created the popular TV show Nanny and the Professor and penned such popular films as Michael J. Fox's The Secret of My Suce$s, Never a Dull Moment, and Hero at Large.