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Dick Van Dyke to star in autobiographical musical at Geffen Playhouse

October 14, 2010 | 12:34 pm

Vandyke

At 84, Dick Van Dyke is at an age when most Hollywood stars have shuffled off to the retirement home or consigned themselves to occasional guest starring appearances on television.

But Van Dyke is apparently made of stronger material. The tireless octogenarian will star in a new autobiographical musical titled "Dick Van Dyke – Step in Time! – A Musical Memoir" that is set to open at the Geffen Playhouse on Dec. 16. The show, which is cowritten by Van Dyke and director Joshua Ravetch, is a theatrical stroll down memory lane that uses stories and songs from the actor's long career on stage and screen.

Ravetch previously worked at the Geffen on Carrie Fisher's stage memoir "Wishful Drinking." The director has been developing the new musical with Van Dyke along with Geffen Producing Director Gil Cates.

"Step in Time" is set to run through Jan. 16.  at the Geffen's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. The cast also willinclude Eric Bradley, Bryan Chadima and Mike Mendyke who, with Van Dyke, will form the singing quartet the Vantastix (they have sung the National Anthem for the Lakers).

Van Dyke won a Tony Award in 1961 for his performance in the original Broadway production of "Bye Bye Birdie." He subsequently launched a Hollywood career and has appeared in a number of films including "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." On TV, he starred in CBS's "The Dick Van Dyke Show" during the '60s and the CBS series "Diagnosis Murder" from 1993 to 2001.

-- David Ng

Photo: Dick Van Dyke, left, with Gil Cates. Credit: Alex J. Berliner / Berliner Photography

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