Few things are more Kentucky than bourbon, and a local trio wrote a musical to celebrate part of the beverage’s more infamous history. Songwriting team Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman, the team behind TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL, and their partner, lauded playwright Joseph McDonough, will offer a sneak preview of their new musical, GEORGE REMUS, at The Carnegie on Marcy 29, 2020. Tickets are $35 for show and tasting, $15 for show only, and available at thecarnegie.com.
The musical tells the fascinating, true, and sometimes unbelievable history of George Remus, a German immigrant, pharmacist, and bootlegger who moved from Chicago to the Cincinnati area during prohibition to be near 80% of the country’s bonded whiskey after finding a loophole in the enforcement of prohibition.
“Returning to The Carnegie and having my own work performed on this beautiful stage, produced by their amazing staff, is a thrill and a dream realized,” said Friedman. “I am excited that the audience for GEORGE REMUS will experience this story and hear the music for the first time ever. It is also a delight that the musical will be performed mere blocks away from where Remus lived the last twenty years of his life, and in a place that holds so many memories for me.”
The first song from the musical, “Who the Hell is Andrew Volstead?” was released October 28 on the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act. The Act was passed to enforce the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the production, sale, and transport of intoxicating liquors. The song can be found on The Carnegie’s Facebook page, along with a link to purchase tickets for the premier staged reading of the full show on March 29, 2020.
“I was so excited when Janet, Mark, and Joe brought this project to The Carnegie,” said Carnegie Theatre Director Maggie Perrino. “George Remus has so many ties to the area, and I think it’s perfect to debut this musical, not in New York or Los Angeles, but in the heart of bourbon country where he really lived.”
The March staging will be accompanied by bourbon and whiskey tastings including Jim Beam Black, Maker’s 46, Knob Creek Single Barrel, and Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye. Following the staged reading the writer and composers will host a Q&A session. Tickets for the show and tasting are $35, $15 for the show only and available at thecarnegie.com.
Cincinnati-based Yates Vogt and Friedman are award-winning composers, lyricists, and playwrights. Their musicals have played worldwide in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Teaming up with Yates Vogt and Friedman is playwright Joseph McDonough, two-time winner of the Mickey Kaplan New American Play Prize. McDonough has had several of his plays premier at the Ensemble Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
The Carnegie’s 2019-20 Theatre Series is presented by the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support comes from the Kentucky Department of Tourism.