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A Musical Mike

February 21, 1988|Clarke Taylor in NYC \f7

The late Mike Todd--ultimate showman, once the husband of Liz Taylor--is the subject of a musical that may be Broadway bound. "Mike" is set to try out late next month in Philadelphia, according to producer Cyma Rubin ("No, No, Nanette"), who hopes for a date next fall in NYC.

The creative team includes composer Mitch Leigh ("Man of La Mancha"), lyricist Lee Adams ("Applause") and book writer Thomas Meehan ("Annie"). The musical is "loosely-based" on the mid-'40s period of Todd's life, when he made the transition from burlesque producer to Broadway big time. Source material is the book about the legendary producer, "A Valuable Property," by Michael Todd Jr. and wife Susan McCarthy Todd, which revealed, among other things, that stripper Gypsy Rose Lee was once Mike Todd's mistress.

A source close to the production told us to expect "sex, sex, sex."

Cast so far includes Robert Morse, Loni Ackerman and Leslie Esterbrook. The Todd character is to be cast with "a relative unknown," said Rubin.

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