A new musical based on the life of a “French flatulist” (professional farter) is headed off-Broadway. The Fartiste will begin performances on October 9 at the Downstairs Theatre at Sofia’s and open on October 27, directed by John Gould Rubin.
The cast will include Nick Wyman (Catch Me If You Can, Les Miserables), Lindsay Roginski (Chicago), Herndon Lackey (LoveMusik), Analisa Leaming, Rachel Kopf and sound effects artist Steven Scott.
Featuring a book by Charlie Schulman and music and lyrics by Michael Roberts, The Fartiste was first was performed at the NYC International Fringe Festival in 2006, where it was named Outstanding Musical. Based on a true story, the show centers on Joseph Pujol, whose musical derriere propelled him to become the highest-paid performer at the Moulin Rouge in 1890s Paris. Pujol did not actually pass gas during his performances; he was able to inhale, move air through his body and release it at will. The Fartiste is described as fun for all ages, with a production featuring Can-Can dancers.
The Fartiste will feature choreography by Richard Move, set design by Andrea Mincic and costumes by Kristina Makowski. The Schulberts and Robert Dragotta are producing with Stephen Hanks and Diane Proctor as co-producers. The show will play five performances a week on Thursday-Sunday, with an optional French buffet pre-show meal available.
The Downstairs Theatre at Sofia's is currently home to Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage, starring Joyce DeWitt. According to a spokesperson, the show will continue its run on an adjusted performance schedule that is still being finalized.