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'Can-Can' revival from Pasadena Playhouse heading to Broadway

'Can-Can' revival from Pasadena Playhouse heading to Broadway
A scene from the 2007 revival of Cole Porter's "Can-Can" at the Pasadena Playhouse. (Los Angeles Times)

The revival of Cole Porter's "Can-Can" that opened at the Pasadena Playhouse more than five years ago has come back to life and is now aiming for Broadway. Producers said Thursday that they are hoping to bring the high-kicking musical to New York in the spring of 2014.

Neither a theater nor a opening date has been announced. The revival is being produced by Jonathan Burrows.

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"Can-Can" debuted in Pasadena in the summer of 2007. The production was directed by David Lee, who is also expected to direct the show when it arrives on Broadway. Organizers said they will hold a workshop production in New York in October.

Porter debuted "Can-Can" on Broadway in 1953, with a cast that included a young Gwen Verdon, and it was a big commercial success. The last time the musical was revived on Broadway was in 1981.

A movie adaptation was released in 1960 starring Shirley MacLaine, Maurice Chevalier and Frank Sinatra.

The new revival features a revised book by Lee and Joel Fields, and choreography by Patti Colombo. The story revolves around a dance hall in the Montmartre section of Paris that features performances of the scandalous can-can dance.

Times theater critic Charles McNulty wrote about the Pasadena production that the story line lacks "credible plotting or confident pacing." But overall, he said, the show has "an insouciant, merrymaking attitude that coaxes you into forgiving almost anything."

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