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Classic Broadway Musical Comes to Miles: is a “homecoming” for Fred Deni

Back on Broadway Restaurant, in association with Ruskin Group Theatre, is staging a new production of the Broadway musical classic Babes in Arms. It will have its premiere on September 15 at Miles Memorial Playhouse.

Originally produced on Broadway in 1937, the musical by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart ran for 289 performances with such memorable songs as “My Funny Valentine,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “Johnny One-Note,” “I Wish I Were in Love Again,” and “Where or When.”

In 1939, the original book and score were adapted and augmented for a movie that starred Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Subsequent theatrical productions have invariably added or dropped some of the original libretto and score.

The “Babes” book and orchestrations have been updated and adapted by director Andy Belling for this latest iteration. It focuses on a group of youngsters at a music camp during the last summer of World War II who put on a show to save their theater from being repossessed by the bank.

With state-of-the-art lighting, new orchestrations and a stylized approach, this 2005 version is meant to be “an affectionate tribute” to the Rodgers and Hart classic.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring to life a new version of a chestnut that holds significant meaning to me,” said Fred Deni, Back on Broadway owner and producer of the show. “I’ve done four productions of Babes in Arms, including one on Broadway. It’s a wonderful play with great music, and this production will give it exposure to new audiences.”

Said Mike Myers, managing director of Ruskin, “We’re proud to be a co-producer of this play. Fred Deni is something of a legend in Santa Monica and the Westside, and his long commitment to theater and philanthropy makes this production a wonderful marriage of two of his great passions.”

Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays at Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica. Tickets are $45, with about half the proceeds going to various charities. The show will run through October 9.

The beneficiaries include American Red Cross, Hill and Dale Family Learning Center in Santa Monica, Santa Monica Conservancy, Santa Monica Police Activities League, and Santa Monica Historical Society. They will share $25 of every ticket sold.For tickets and information, call (310) 397-3244 or go to http://www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.

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