Merton of the Movies

By Doug Katsaros & Donald Brenner

Picture This! 

A naive store clerk arrives in Hollywood during the rollicking era of silent movies determined to be a serious dramatic actor. But an ambitious starlet together with a conniving director devise a plan to hoodwink the lad into unwittingly becoming the newest Comedy Box Office Sensation…!


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directed Abingdon Theatre Company’s productions of Mike Vogel's MARCH MADNESS (AB*IE AWARD – Outstanding Director) and Sherman Yellen's DECEMBER FOOLS.  He also directed the New York Musical Theatre Festival productions of SASQUATCHED!  THE MUSICAL and THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING YOU EVER HOID (NYMF Award of Excellence).   Other Off-Broadway credits include CRITICAL MASS at the Lion Theatre and A TALE OF TWO CITIES at the Mint Theatre. He directed the Lincoln Center production of ALI BABA, and the world premiere of BEYOND GRAVITY at New Jersey Repertory Company.

His over seventy regional theater directing credits include Jeffrey Hatcher’s WILDE GOES WEST for Pioneer Theatre and THE GYM at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. His production of 1776 was named one of the “Top San Diego Productions of the Year” by PBS and earned him a “Best Direction of a Musical” Robby Award Nomination.

As a writer/director he adapted THE MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET for the Lucille Lortel Theatre starring Tony Winners Debbie Gravitte and Chuck Cooper, a concert version of Wright and Forrest’s KISMET with Emily Skinner and his own adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA starring Nancy Anderson and Will Chase.

He also directed and adapted the stage version of THE CHRISTMAS SWEATER for a Sold Out National Tour, which was simulcast Live from the Charleston Performing Arts Center to 500 nationwide movie theatres.


is an Emmy winning composer who has been making some kind of noise for years, conducting, composing, orchestrating, arranging on and off Broadway for shows like FOOTLOOSE, THE LIFE, ROCKY HORROR, ALTAR BOYZ, THE TOXIC AVENGER and A...MY NAME IS ALICE. He is the composer for Broadway’s upcoming “SOMEWHERE IN TIME” and his “ORPHAN TRAIN” musical was featured as part of Grand Central Terminal’s 100th year anniversary in October.

He has written and conducted TV and film scores for Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Loggia and Sandra Bullock.  He is on dozens of gold and platinum CDs for artists such as Kiss, Sinéad O'Connor, Gloria Estefan, Frank Sinatra, Todd Rundgren, Rod Stewart,  Judy Collins, B. B. King, Marlo Thomas (Grammy), Donny Osmond, Richie Havens, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Cher, Michael Bolton, and Peter Paul & Mary.

He orchestrated Dee Snider’s Heavy Metal Broadway tribute, “Dee Does Broadway” and on TV, he garnered an Emmy nomination for his score to "The Tick" and wrote themes for “The Jim Henson Hour,” “Mancuso FBI” and the “ABC Sunday Night Movie.” He has conducted PBS’s “Great Performances” and the Boston Pops. He writes special material for Ringling Brothers Circus, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks and their Thanksgiving Day Parade, winning the Emmy for Best Original Song. He tours the world with Argentinian pianist Raul Di Blasio, who's latest CD, Primavera, he co-produced. He has two grown sons, and lives in New York with his wife, composer/keyboardist Elise Morris, raising two teenage girls, who now make all the noise. And yes, he is the guy who wrote "By Mennen". 



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MEN (6):​

MERTON GILL – 20s, Lyric Baritone

PLAYER 1 –  30-50, Baritone -  Gashwiler / Mrs. Patterson / Jeff Baird / Stunt Pilot

PLAYER 2 –  30- 40, Tenor - Cookie / Elmer/ Charley / Louie / Patron 3 / Cop 4

PLAYER 3 –  30 – 40, Baritone - Pete / Walter / Sig Rosenblatt / Pickles / The Customer

PLAYER 4 – 30 – 40, Bass-Baritone - Harry/ Esther Fitzroy / Mr. Holden / Waiter 1/ The Boss

PLAYER 5 –  20s – Lyric Baritone - Harold Parmalee / Tom / Maxie / Bobby / Waiter 2 / Patron 2 / Cop 3

WOMEN (4):

FLIPS MONTAGUE – 20s, Alto-Belt

PLAYER 6 – 30 – 50, Mezzo-Belt -  Mrs. Leffingwell / Edna / Make-up Woman / The Mother / Patron 5

PLAYER 7 -  20s, Soprano -  Vivian / Patron 4 / Cop 1 / Dance Hall Girl / Beulah

PLAYER 8 – 30- 50, Alto-Belt -  The Countess / Trixie / Patron 1 / Cop 2