Groucho: A Life in Revue
is a stage play written by Groucho Marx's son Arthur Marx
and Robert Fisher. It is a look at the life and career of the famous entertainer Groucho Marx
of the Marx Brothers
and You Bet Your Life
fame. It opened off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel
Theatre on October 8, 1986 and played 254 performances closing on May 3, 1987. It starred 23 year-old actor Frank Ferrante
as Groucho Marx from age 15 to 85, Les Marsden as Harpo Marx
and Chico Marx
, Faith Prince
as The Girls and Rusty Magee as The Citizen of Freedonia. It was directed by Arthur Marx
. The play opened to rave reviews. The New York Times
wrote, "There is laughter in abundance" and described Ferrante's performance as "artful...his timing is digital sharp." The New York Post
dubbed it "hilarious...a brilliant revue." Groucho
was nominated for two NY Outer Critics Circle Awards
- one for Best Play and one for Ferrante's performance. Ferrante won a 1987 New York Theatre World Award
for 'Outstanding New Talent.'
The play opened with Ferrante and Marsden in London's West End at the Comedy Theatre in summer, 1987. Marguerite Lowell replaced Faith Prince as The Girls. It received more critical acclaim and garnered three Laurence Olivier Award nominations.
In 2001, Groucho aired as a national television special on PBS starring Frank Ferrante as Groucho, Roy Abramsohn as Chico and Harpo and Marguerite Lowell as The Girls. It was directed for the stage by Ferrante and for the screen by Steve Moscovic.