As part of Stages 2007, a weekend festival of eight new musicals in progress, Richard Rodgers’ 1976 colossal failure of a musical, “Rex,” will be presented and analyzed with its original creative team (minus Rodgers, who died three years later), including lyricist Sheldon Harnick (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Apple Tree,” “The Rothchilds”) and book writer Sherman Yellen (“The Rothchilds,” “Oh, Calcutta!”) after the Sunday afternoon performance (its Friday premiere serves as the gala opening for the festival). “Rex” is a musical, believe it or not, about King Henry VIII and his aspirations so obsessive for producing a male heir to maintain the new Tudor dynasty that his singing wives will lose their heads (offstage, of course). Henry even sings his way through a wrestling match with the King of France, and becomes a singing sore loser as well. The amazing thing is that Rodgers’ extraordinary gift for melody is evident throughout the work, but that wasn’t enough to save this famous golden turkey. Perhaps this rare revival will spawn “Sadaam: the Musical.” (Dennis Polkow)
Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, (773)327-5252. Fri 7:30pm/Sat 3:30pm. $15-$75. This production is closed.