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  • Betsyann Faiella

Michael Colby's Granny Was Flashed by Marilyn Monroe!

SavoyPR recently booked a feature by Barbara Hoffman in the New York Post for client Michael Colby, the librettist/lyricist and author. It came in advance of a concert version of his musical, Charlotte Sweet, (written with composer Gerald Jay Markoe) at Feinstein's/54Below in February. YAY! Booking a feature is not an easy thing to do, and Barbara was gracious the entire way through. When the online version was published, the title read: "My Grandmother Was Flashed by Marilyn Monroe." We just about died laughing, but of course because of that title it was read by many, many people! And in fact, Michael's grandmother DID say she was flashed by Marilyn Monroe.

Michael Colby is one of our favorite clients: eccentric and super talented, and such a "New York character." He grew up in the Algonquin Hotel, which was owned by his grandparents, Mary and Ben Bodne, from 1946-1987. They were Southern Jews who came to the big city (having already befriended George Gershwin at Mary's family's deli in South Carolina), and bought the Algonquin> They gave it a much-needed facelift, and once again turned it into "the place to be." It wasn't segregated, all were welcome, and the Bodnes were well loved by Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Lerner and Loewe, Leonard Cohen and many other stars who made it their home away from home. Under their watch, The Oak Room saw the blossoming of the cabaret/concert careers of Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, KT Sullivan and Andrea Marcovicci, to name only a few. Michael wrote a book about living there, which he did on weekends, vacations and other long stretches as a child, and then full time from his late teens until his early 30s. The book is the "The Algonquin Kid: Growing Up in New York's Legendary Hotel." Indeed!

Michael wrote many of his shows at the Algonquin, among them Charlotte Sweet and its prequel, Ludlow Ladd. His rehearsal space was provided by his grandparents at the hotel, and they fed the cast and staff from the Algonquin kitchen.

On February 27th, the concert version of Charlotte Sweet at Feinstein's/54 Below, produced by the Second Act Series (team of Steven Carl McCasland and James Horan), was unique, madcap and absolutely terrific--and PACKED. Michael has a show, DANGEROUS, currently in the Broadway pipeline (it has been optioned for Broadway). In a recent show at Don't Tell Mama, N'Kenge sang two songs from the score, and I can't wait until it's on its feet!

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