LI Herald: Hazel to the Rescue
By Karen Bloom
The sitcom maid re-emerges in a new musical
Hazel, that irrepressible maid from the iconic Saturday Evening Post cartoon and '60s Emmy Award-winning sitcom, is now sweeping her way onto the stage in a new musical currently in development, "Hazel: A Musical Maid in America."
The tryout show, which had its spring 2016 debut at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago, arrives on Long Island in the form of a staged reading, starring Klea Blackhurst, at the Madison Theatre, on the campus of Molloy College, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28.
"It's based off of the version that was done in Chicago," says Angelo Fraboni, the Madison Theatre's artistic director. "But it's actually a new show, with a different director and choreographer [Parker Esse], musical director [Aaron Gandy] and new cast." Blackhurst, who brought Hazel to life in the Chicago production, continues in this staging, supported by Molloy's Cap21 Theatre Arts students, among the performers.
"It's a show that's really right for our times, even though it's set in the '60s," says Fraboni. "It's about finding your voice, accepting change, and finding your true self. Hazel helps and guides the Baxter family. It's a nice story."