Fred Barton, Toni DiBuono
Buy New $12.61
"THE TWO SVENGALIS spotlights rapier-sharp words and a score that ranges from torchy ballads to lilting swing—with a healthy dose of Broadway brass —dark subtext and dry humor, two fascinating characters, and a book that is most intriguing. Toni DiBuono provides the perfect balance of showbiz pizzazz and human frailty. Tuner's offbeat quality is sure to appeal to sophisticated theatre crowds." 

"This witty and entertaining show tells the intentionally florid story of two people who, driven by a need for revenge against their former lovers, rise to fame and fortune. Barton's songs have real craft behind them and DiBuono is a wonderful comedienne. In short, this is a fine piece of work."
– Barbara & Scott Siegel, THEATERMANIA

What happens when a hack songwriter
is faced with the daunting task of transforming
an amateur singing housewife
into the greatest singer/actress in the world?
The inevitable: he succeeds.
And what happens when an amateur singing housewife
is faced with the daunting task
of transforming a hack songwriter into the toast of Broadway?
The inevitable: she succeeds... 
And together they conquer the world—and each other—in fifteen songs... 
And only they know who they really are...

Original Cast Records announces the CD release of THE TWO SVENGALIS, starring Drama-Desk-Award-winner Toni DiBuono and Bistro-Award winner Fred Barton, with music, lyrics, and orchestrations by Barton. The CD is now available at, and, iTunes and 33 other online outlets. The CD consists of 15 tracks, with a sixteen-page book of liner notes, photographs, and information about the show.

FRED BARTON: One day during my first year in New York, after setting up my coaching studio, I greeted a shy, terrified housewife from New Jersey, who had come to me at the command of her husband, who apparently held weekly business dinners at their home and enjoyed having his wife entertain their guests with performances of showtunes. Her obvious lack of confidence and enthusiasm (call it sheer terror), fascinated me. She only came to me once or twice (I was not the ideal prescription for terror-stricken clients) – but I never forgot her story, and eventually my writer's mind began to twitch: – what was behind the husband's compulsion to send his wife into Manhattan for singing lessons? What was he doing back home during his wife's absence? And what if the choice of singing coach was not as random as picking a name out of the Back Stage classifieds? And that's when my memory of George duMaurier's Trilby started to kick in.
Toni DiBuono and fourteen songs later, presto: The Two Svengalis, the ultimate musical for a piano man and his towering diva.
In the style of 1950's Hollywood backstage musicals, combined with the melodramatics of Douglas Sirk, The Two Svengalis ponders the mysterious electricity that mutually ignites two sympatico talents – the Porters and Mermans, the Cowards and Lawrences... and the chaos that ensues as they try to figure out who's bringing out the brilliance of whom. The Svengalis' songs grow in sophistication over the development of their rapport and celebrity, from cornball honky-tonk to Dolores-Gray-50's swing showstoppers, culminating in a contemporary ballad, "There's A String Tied To A Good Time."

(Photos: Richie Fahey)
TONI DIBUONO debuted in the 1988 edition of Forbidden Broadway, winning both the Drama Desk and Outer Drama Critics' Circle Awards as Best Actress in a Musical and Best New York Debut of an Actress respectively. On Broadway, Toni played leading roles in the revivals of Wonderful Town and The Boys From Syracuse. Her Off-Broadway appearances include featured roles in Joseph Papp's production of Todd Rundgren's musical Up Against It, and in Terrence McNally's Bad Habits with Allison Janney and Nathan Lane at the Manhattan Theatre Club; Toni also played the title character in Peter Morris's The Truth About Ruth. Roles in regional theatre include the Wicked Witch/Miss Gulch in The Wizard Of Oz at   both the MUNY and Theatre-Under-The-Stars, Gertrude Lawrence in Noel And   Gertie at the Santa Fe Rep, Maria in Lend Me A Tenor at the Players Theatre in Columbus, and Josphine/Monica in Romance/Romance at the Theatre Factory of St. Louis. On television, Toni was the star of PBS's Mathnet, and the co-host of Our Home on Lifetime; she has also appeared on Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as in numerous commercials. Ms. DiBuono is married to actor Michael McGrath, and   they have a daughter, Kathleen.


The original cast recording of
a new musical entertainment with music, lyrics, and orchestrations by Fred Barton, and book by Fred Barton and Toni DiBuono. Drama-Desk-Award-winner Toni DiBuono and Bistro-Award-winner Fred Barton are the performers. The score is in the tradition of the Golden Age Of Broadway. 
"I'd Love to Love Someone"
from the original cast recording

  "I'm the Queen and You're Not"
Toni DiBuono and the Fred Barton Orchestra
at the Metropolitan Room (March, 2012)