"THE KING AND I" 1246 PERFORMANCES 3/29/1951-3/20/1954 The work is based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon and derives from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, who became governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. The story deals with the experiences of the British schoolteacher, who is hired as part of the King's drive to modernize his country. The relationship between the King and Anna is marked by conflict through much of the play, as well as by a love that neither is able to express. The musical was an immediate hit, winning Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actress (for Gertrude Lawrence) and Best Featured Actor (for Yul Brynner). Lawrence died unexpectedly of cancer a year and a half after the opening, and the role of Anna was played by other actresses during the remainder of the Broadway run of over three years (1,246 performances). A national tour and a hit London run followed, together with a 1956 film for which Brynner won an Academy Award. More successful revivals followed. In the early 1980s, Brynner starred in an extended national tour of the musical, culminating with a 1985 Broadway run, shortly before his death. The King and I saw another Broadway revival in 1996, with Lou Diamond Phillips as the King and Donna Murphy as Anna, and a 2000 London production.
''WONDERFUL TOWN" 559 PERFORMANCES 2/3/54 TILL 2/25/54
Wonderful Town is a musical with a book written by Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Leonard Bernstein. It is based on Fields and Chodorov's 1940 play My Sister Eileen, which is itself based on the collection of short stories by Ruth McKenney of the same name. Premiering on Broadway in 1953, it won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and spawned a 1986 West End production and 2003 Broadway revival. A lighter piece than Bernstein's later works, "West Side Story" and "Candide", Comden and Green's lyrics are paired with Bernstein's music to produce the songs . The show also served as the basis for two movies and a television show. It was revived on Broadway in 2003.
Maureen Lipman singing "Conga" from the original Broadway cast:
Leonard Bernstein in Concert with a cast of stars:
Bea Arthur and June Anderson sing two songs from the show: link
1954 "KISMET" 583 PERFORMANCES 12/4/53 THROUGH 4/23/55 Kismet is a musical with lyrics and musical adaptation (as well as some original music) by Robert Wright and George Forrest, adapted from the music of Alexander Borodin, and a book by Charles Lederer and Luther Davis, based on Kismet, the 1911 play by Edward Knoblock. The story concerns a wily poet who talks his way out of trouble several times; meanwhile, his beautiful daughter meets and falls in love with the young Caliph. The musical was first produced on Broadway in 1953 and won the Tony Award for best musical in 1954. It was also successful in London's West End and has been given several revivals. A 1955 film version was released by MGM.
SHOW HIGHLITES: "Night of My Nights" "And This is My Beloved"
Medley (Vic Damone & Judy Garland)
''BAUBLES, BANGLES & BEADS"
"STRANGER IN PARADISE"
Trailer for the Movie Version of show
The show opened in the midst of a newspaper strike and since newspaper reviews were unavailable, the producers used television advertising to promote the show. The musical caught popular attention and ran for a successful 583 performances. The strike may have ultimately assisted the popularity of the show, since the reviews, arriving a few weeks after the opening, were not all favorable. The musical was made into a Cinemascopefilm in 1955 by MGM, starring Howard Keel as Hajj, Ann Blyth as Marsinah, Dolores Gray as Lalume, and Vic Damone as the Caliph. The soaring quartet "This is My Beloved" was changed to a trio, because Sebastian Cabot, who played the Wazir, could not sing. An Armstrong Theater television version was broadcast in 1967 starring Barbara Eden as Lalume, Jose Ferrer as Haj, Anna Maria Alberghetti as Marsinah, and George Chikaris as the Caliph (among other cast members). The script was edited down to a 90 minute broadcast and jettisoned few musical numbers despite the shorter run time. The show spawned several top hit recordings.
1955 THE PAJAMA GAME 1063 PERFORMANCES 5/13/54-11/24/56
The Pajama Game is a musical based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissel. It features a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story deals with labor troubles in a pajama factory, where worker demands for a seven-and-a-half cents raise are going unheeded. In the midst of this ordeal, love blossoms between Babe, the grievance committee head, and Sid, the new factory superintendent. The original production was revived in 1973, and once again in 2006 by The Roundabout Theatre Company. The original production won a Tony for Best Musical , and the 2006 Broadway revival won a Tony Award for Best Revival. The musical is a popular choice for community and school group productions. The film version was released by Warner Brothers in 1957 and featured the original stage cast except for Janis Paige, who was replaced by Doris Day, then the most popular female vocalist and movie star of the 50's. Most of the songs from the show became Top Ten Hits in 1954. SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
"THERE ONCE WAS A MAN"
"ONCE A YEAR DAY"
"I'M NOT AT ALL IN LOVE"
"7 1/2 CENTS"
And here is a scene from the movie of the show featuring a new song written just for the film. It never made the final editing.
"THE MAN WHO INVENTED LOVE"
FROM THE 2006 VERSION WHICH WON TONY FOR BEST REVIVAL