New York City
Fred Barton’s legendary “One-Man, One Piano Metaphorical Musical Tour De Force”
Of all Hollywood’s ornery old maids, crotchety battle-axes & crusty curmudgeons, Miss Gulch, the dog-snatching, bicycle-riding, spiteful spinster-next-door who had it in for Dorothy’s little Toto, was the unquestioned queen. Pity her! Born to higher things, why was she sentenced to serve forever as two-dimensional comic relief? And why should her formidable figure invariably inspire snickers? Perhaps today’s sophisticates are amused by quaint Hollywood psychology, in which a severe Miss Gulch becomes a terrifying Wicked Witch in the subconscious mind of a pubescent Midwestern teenager. Or is it possible that we prefer the safety of identifying with victimized superstar heroines; that the startling image of the underdog supporting-player’s sexually frustrated spinster hits a deep nerve of unsettling self-recognition that can acknowledge only with laughter?
Fred Barton’s revue of songs & social commentary premiered at Palsson’s Supper Club in November 1983, where Fred played in the original Forbidden Broadway. Miss Gulch Returns played extended NYC cabaret engagements starting in January 1984, followed by Fred’s appearances around the country, culminating with the still-selling 1986 CD. The show has enjoyed tremendous success in independent productions at the Actors’ Playhouse of Nashville, The Richmond Triangle Players & Indianapolis’s Theatre-On-The-Square, who revived Miss Gulch Returns in October of 2002 as part of their 15th Anniversary retrospective of their most successful productions. A new production is also scheduled for Cleveland in 2004. The Dillon’s engagement will mark Fred’s first performance of the show since a NY one-night-only benefit in 1993.
The Tuesday, January 27th performance, a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, is at 10:30pm.
Performances begin: December 15, 2023
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