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Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup

Frankly, I think that the routines and the dialogue are much funnier live on stage than they are in the movie.

Russell McGee with Hayden Moore and Shani Wahrman are putting the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup back in the theatre and they’re making it into a musical.

George Walker talked with Tom Slater the choreographer for the show and actor Nate Stanger who plays the Chico Marx role. “Tom, actually part of the film that you’re working from came from the stage, because the Marx Brothers took some of the routines out on tour to test them with audiences. What do you think about putting the show back on stage? “

“Well, I’m not really a huge Marx Brothers fan. I like them, I enjoy them, but I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool Marxian. Frankly, I think that the routines and the dialogue are much funnier live on stage than they are in the movie. So I actually have to say that the great thing about the filming is that it gives us a visual record to work with.”

Actor Nate Stanger also felt that the films are useful. Stanger is a big strapping fellow while Chico Marx and all of the Marx brothers were small. “I’ve tried to compensate, by using the films to pick up the little gestures, the mannerisms that made Chico distinctive, “ he said. “Also, Chico had a very eccentric way with an Italian accent and it’s helped to have the recordings.”

The Merry Mac Players Community Theatre
production The Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup directed by Russell McGee with music direction by Shani Wahrman and choreography by Tom Slater plays Friday and Saturday evenings at eight and Sundays at two June 19-21 and 26-28, 2009 at The Depot, 210 North Marion Street in Martinsville.

Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup
Merry Mac Players community theatre
Directed by Russell McGee
Music Direction by Shani Wahrman
Choreography by Tom Slater
June 19-21 and 26-28, 2009

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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  • Effective Media

    I’ve seen several productions that Russell McGee has directed and every one of them has been wonderful. Duck Soup is a must see at the Merry MAC Players community theatre located in Martinsville, Indiana.

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