The staging has been conceived in 1950, when the family of the actress wanted to glorify her name, creating a stage musical. It was necessary to spend USD 1 million on it, and they have applied for funding from several eminent theatrical producers of that time, who made input of half of the amount, the rest creators of the show have invested themselves. The only condition was to attend the star Cheryl Crawford, but later she was replaced by more eminent Mary Martin.
Production was revised several times in the course of development, as the original script did not suit the producers, or failed during the previews (for example, one version during the pre-reading lasted for only 1 week). As a result, it was decided not to adhere to any chronology or the veracity of the narrative about the life events of prototypes, completely changing the story for the sake of entertainment.
After that began a pre-Broadway shows, as a result of which many critics, though positively speaking about the musical part of the play, generally revealed restrained, moderate reaction on to this theatrical. Many called it boring, solemn, too formal, even disappointing. The composer even sued one of too zealous critics, who allowed himself to say that the composer has stolen some of the sound from other composers.
When production came to the then thriving Detroit, there was a small change of actors (D. O'Keefe left & G. Wallace took his place). Following some personal reasons, the creators did not want to go to NY, but then they had to make up the settlement for the audience that already purchased tickets for substantial USD 1.35 million, which forced them to adhere to previous commitments.
So, on the Broadway musical was opened in 1963 and gave only 86 shows, including the preliminary ones. The critics were right – the story was too dry to stick to hearts of the audience, and a substantial portion of invested funds had not paid off.
Release date: 1963
Last Update:April, 19th 2016
- Act 1
- Waitin' for the Evening Train
- When You're Far Away from New York Town
- I Still Look at You That Way
- For Better or Worse
- Born Again
- Over Here
- Before I Kiss the World Goodbye
- Sauce Diable
- Where You Are
- The Jig
- See Seattle
- Act 2
- High Is Better Than Low
- The Night May Be Dark
- Dance Rehearsal
- I Believe in Takin' a Chance
- Lonely Nights
- Before I Kiss the World Goodbye (Reprise)