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Glamour Girl! The Jan McArt Story

“When it comes to musical celebrity biographies, for stage or screen, whether it’s ‘Incendiary Blonde’ or ‘Love Me or Leave Me’ or ‘Funny Girl,’ for that matter, the plots usually tend to be highly fictionalized,” says Tony Finstrom, who’s just written a new musical biography for the stage titled ‘GLAMOUR GIRL!, The Jan McArt Story.’   “With Jan, I didn’t have to do that.  Make up any stuff, I mean.  Her real life already reads like a fabulous movie!” 

Finstrom is referring to Jan McArt, the Carbonell Award winning ‘First Lady of Florida Theatre’ who, for years, famously ran several theatres in South Florida, most notably the Royal Palm Dinner Theatre in Boca Raton, where she appeared in many of the shows she produced there.

Directed by Wayne Rudisill, ‘GLAMOUR GIRL!’ will star Jan McArt and Amy Miller Brennan, and feature Dan Kelley, Michael McKeever, Angie Radosh and Shane R. Tanner.  The creative team for this new work-in-progress also includes Musical Staging by Shari Upbin.

‘GLAMOUR GIRL!’ covers McArt’s early career when she appeared around the world in opera, cabaret and musical theatre, prior to her arrival in South Florida, and it features songs of the period.  Brennan will play the part of the young Jan McArt Upbin, Wardrobe Supervision by Peter Lovello, and Musical Direction by Jon Randy.  “Amy Miller Brennan is going to be sensation in the part of the young Jan McArt,” Finstrom says.  “I’m thrilled with the entire all-star cast.  I think it’s going to be a very entertaining evening of theatre.” “And very informative, too!,” he adds.  “Jan’s a very private person.  I suspect most people don’t know anything about her life, prior to her arrival in South Florida.”

Jan McArt is currently in charge of theatre development at Lynn University, where this fully staged reading will be the first in a series of staged readings presented this winter/spring as part of ‘Jan McArt’s New Play Reading Series,’ to develop new plays and musicals by Florida playwrights.   An ambitious, award-winning program, this play reading series gives playwrights the chance to work with a cast and a director for six days – rehearsing, re-writing, rehearsing, rewriting.  Then, at the end of the six days, they present their new, polished, reworked piece to the public, in performance.

A Staged Reading of his new musical will be presented for one night only, January 13th, at 7:30 PM in the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center on the campus of Lynn University, as part of Jan McArt’s New Play Reading Series.  Other upcoming shows to be presented in the 2014 series include the new comedy ‘DESPERATION’ by Marj O’Neill-Butler, to be directed by Gail Garrisan (February 3rd), ‘SHOOTING STAR, The Musical’ with music & lyrics by Mildred Kayden and a book by Ed Bullins, to be directed by Wayne Rudisill, with Musical Staging by Ron Hutchins (March 10th), and a new play about parenthood (as yet untitled) by Christopher Demos-Brown, to be directed by Margaret M. Ledford (April 28th.)  Tickets are $10.  For reservations, call (561) 237-9000, or go to: