Director Mark Giesser returns to Upstairs at the Gatehouse with George and Ira Gershwin’s madcap musical hidden gem Strike Up The Band, written with George S. Kaufman in 1927. While the original script was rewritten by Morrie Ryskind in 1930, this production presents the original, with the dark satire on America’s war-mongering over a trade deal re-established.
In 1927, Horace J. Fletcher is a typical self-made American businessman. His cheese factory dominates the market, he influences the White House, and he’s secured his business future by agreeing to marry his daughter, Joan, to his factory manager. He does have one problem. Switzerland has the audacity to protest America’s heavy new tariff on imported cheese. Fletcher convinces the US government to declare war, backing it with his bucks. Jim Townsend, a newspaperman, suspects all may not be wholesome, but he and Joan fall for each other. Will making the world safe for American cheese be more than just a walk in the Alps?
Director and producer Mark Giesser has written, directed and produced extensively in both Off-Broadway and London Fringe venues. Recent productions include his adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic short story The Lady With A Dog, the UK premiere of Alan Alda’s Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, and the 60th anniversary UK revival of the stage play of Gigi.