City of Angels

Music: Cy Coleman

Lyrics: David Zippel

Book: Larry Gelbart

In City of Angels, Coleman, Zippel, and Gelbart spoof the private eye movies of the 1940's. The story follows Stein, a fiction writer in Hollywood trying to adapt his own detective novel into a screenplay. As the action begins, we meet Stone, Stein's detective, in the hospital with a bullet wound. As Stone relates the story of his injury, Stein begins to rewrite his story. As he rewrites, the "movie" is rewound and the actors move and speak backwords. As Stein buries himself in the fantasy world of his detective story, however, his personal life begins to fall apart. When his wife leaves him, he must make some decisions about what is really important in his life.

The cast of City of Angels is divided into two groups: the Hollywood cast and the film cast, and each character from Stein's real life reappears as a character in his film. The film sequences take place in a world of blacks, whites, and grays, while the Hollywood sequences consist of "living colors."

City of Angels opened at the Virginia Theatre on December 11, 1989, with a cast that featured Greg Edelman (Stein) and James Naughton (Stone). The production ran for 878 performances.

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