Show History



Conceived by director/lyricist Martin Charnin (Annie), The No-Frills Revue takes its cue from the brilliantly sardonic topical revues of the 1950's, employing original songs, sketches, a small cast and trio of musicians in an hilarious all-out assault on the world as we know it. It is a tribute to the type of 1950s and 60s nightclub act pioneered by Julius Monk, or in modern terms a sort of musical Saturday Night Live!


The No-Frills Revue opened at Off Broadway's Cherry Lane Theater on November 25, 1987. The cast included Adinah Alexander, Sasha Charnin, Clare Fields, Stephani Hardy, Sarah Knapp, Eddie Korbich, Andre Montgomery, Lynn Paynter, Justin Ross and Bob Stillman.

Since then it has been performed many times regionally and at colleges and universities.

Cultural Influence


  • The creative team for The No-Frills Revue includes such Broadway notables as Martin Charnin (Annie), Thomas Meehan (Annie, Hairspray) and Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line).



  • Prior to working on the The No-Frills Revue, Martin Charnin contributed material to the long running off-Broadway revue Upstairs at O'Neal's, which was also done in a '50s and '60s nightclub style.




  • In his production notes, Mr. Charnin writes, "There is a very specific aesthetic attached to this musical revue -- embodied in the opening lyrics to The No-Frills Revue -- and that is, less is more." The piece calls for minimal costumes, props, and set pieces, and interchangeable male and female roles. Though the revue was performed originally with nine performers, it can be done with as few as six -- three men and three women.