The Honeymooners got a full-blown musical that you may have missed
Ralph Kramden finally got his big break – off-Broadway!
Image: Everett Collection
Every longtime fan of The Honeymooners knows that the short-form sitcom evolved out of a variety show sketch that Jackie Gleason developed. Every once in a while, the sketches would even feature a song or two if the script called for it, but overall, the sketch-turned-TV show was all about comedic timing and quality writing to get the crowd involved.
That is, until someone made an entire musical starring the Kramdens and the Nortons.
In 2017, the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey opened its season with a new musical, The Honeymooners: A New Musical Comedy. The show picks up right where any episode of the show would — with Ralph Kramden trying to get rich fast.
The Paper Mill Playhouse website wrote this synopsis: "Ralph Kramden and his buddy Ed Norton are back and still shooting for the moon in this world-premiere musical. After shocking their wives by winning a high-profile jingle contest, they are catapulted out of Brooklyn and into the cutthroat world of Madison Avenue advertising, where they discover that their quest for the American Dream might cost them their friendship. Filled with big laughs and an infectious score, The Honeymooners will bang-zoom its way into your heart."
The New Jersey–based theater is renowned for championing revivals of past hits and new works, making this throwback piece a perfect fit for its 2017 season. The music in the show reflects that of Golden-Age Broadway shows of yore, with plenty of jazzy dance breaks and toe-tapping fun. The show closed after a four-week run.
Would you have seen the show if came to town?