"Wildcat" Review - Broadway musicalLucille Ball, known to viewers by starring in the American sitcom ‘I Love Lucy’, was the leading actress of this original Broadway production. After she showed to this production not only creative, but also a financial interest, N. R. Nash slightly altered scenario in her favor. Initially Wildcat Jackson should not have been older than 31 years, but at the moment of the development, Lucille Ball was over 48 years old. Because of this, the age of the heroine had to be changed. The husband of the actress D. Arnaz invested into the production 360 thousand dollars. Instead, he bought 36% of the rights to net profit, which was to be received in the future, rights to songs & exhibition of the play on television. Before the premiere, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz had divorced. They have kept a good relationship with each other throughout the whole life. Thanks to new friend Paula Stewart, who played the role of Janie Jackson, Lucille Ball became acquainted with Gary Morton, who became her second husband in 1961.
Regional production of the musical received excellent reviews from Variety, but Philadelphia critics expressed much less enthusiasm about the new show. The premiere had to be shifted because the cars delivering sets & props in NY were stuck for a several days on the road due to strong blizzard. Spectators who came to the theater, wanted to look at the TV star, but not acting skills of Lucille Ball. Due to the severe schedule – 8 performances per week – the actress became seriously ill. She was not able to cope with chronic fatigue, illness & exhaustion in the future. Musical was removed from the display, without ever trying to find a replacement for the role of the protagonist. Critics have noted that when understudy for Lucille Ball was playing, staging looked faded, washy & uninteresting. In the following performances, this play was confirmed – only charisma of leading actress could fill the significant shortcomings of the storyline. According to the audience, music in the show partially compensated a weak story. The show included some great songs that the audience liked. Attempts to revive the play were done extremely rare. But it is obvious that if the world has an actress with not less fervent temperament than Lucille Ball has, this musical is created exactly for her. It only remains to find one, the same redheaded.
Last Update:July, 27th 2016