Taylor Bartolucci recreates the life and times and songs of a legendary American chanteuse in Lucky Penny’s production of “Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical,” opening Feb. 23 at the Lucky Penny Community Arts Center.
Bartolucci is co-founder and artistic director of Lucky Penny.
Featuring two dozen of the songs she made famous, “Tenderly” weaves the music into the story of Clooney’s chart-topping career and sometimes stormy personal life.
Success followed success in the 1950s and early 1960s but changing tastes in popular music saw her popularity wane, and an addiction to prescription drugs led Clooney to a breakdown in 1968. She spent the next eight years in therapy before bouncing back to new acclaim as a jazz vocalist in the late 1970s and 1980s.
“Once before, as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, I had the chance to play a woman who was in command on the stage but struggled with real life,” said Bartolucci. “Rosemary’s story has much to say about the price that is paid for stardom.”
All of Clooney’s best-loved songs are included in “Tenderly”: “Come On-a My House,” “Botch-A-Me,” “Sway,” “Hey There,” “Mambo Italiano” and “This Ole House” to name a few.
Music director Craig Burdette will lead a three-piece band for the production, which is directed by Dyan McBride. Bartolucci is joined in the show by Lucky Penny co-founder Barry Martin, who portrays her psychiatrist and a dozen other characters, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and the man Clooney married twice, Jose Ferrer.
“Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical” opens Friday, Feb. 23, for a three-weekend run through March 11. Details and tickets are available at luckypennynapa.com or by calling 707-266-6305.
All performances will take place at the Lucky Penny Community Arts Center, 1758 Industrial Way, Napa.